When I first started LoveLiveGrow I posted mainly about my homesteading, simple life efforts. I didn’t have a garden or livestock yet, but I wrote about using bathroom cloth, reusable shopping bags, hand washing dishes, using wood for heat, and other “eco” choices.
One day Joshua posted on G+ that our cutting board had broken. It was a big plastic board of some kind and it had snapped in two. A friend who had originally met us through my blog commented that we were probably happy to see it go since it wasn’t the kind we would want anymore.
I was so confused at first. She thought we would no longer choose that board and would buy a replacement more like a regular end woodgrain one or maybe bamboo. But that cutting board was perfect, and we bought that exact one as replacement. It is big, easy to clean, and lightweight.
That little experience helped me to realize that my choices were less about a broadly applied “saving the world” drive and more about what pleased me and worked for me in any given situation.
I like my menstrual cup because it saves me money and is way more comfortable.
I like raising pigs because they are delightful to be around and homegrown, home brined and smoked bacon is truly delicious.
I like using cloth towels in the kitchen because they are friendly to the touch and more versatile than paper towels.
And so on. Creating less waste, less reliability on fossil fuels, less animal suffering, and other environmental issues are important to me, but they aren’t the only value on the table.
Sometimes what works best for me is a plastic cutting board.
Some people feel guilt over the ways they don’t adhere to the natural life they think they’re seeking. When I acknowledge my overlapping and interlocking values and priorities, it keeps me from feeling that a particular choice is “wrong” and instead lets me make whatever choice is right in the moment.