This is a picture of lids from plastic water bottles I have used for one week, from February 13th to 17th. I decided to collect the lids because I knew that I was quite a big consumer of disposable bottles but I did not know how badly I was. However, this exercise certainly woke me up.
During the 5 days, I was able to gather 7 lids in total, which indicated that I use disposable bottles at least once a day, or even twice a day. Then I questioned myself why I use them so many even though I have my own water bottle at home. I was able to answer immediately: Because it is more convenient.
Then, I considered my recycling habit, which stunned my mind again because I realized that I used to ignore the importance of recycling them. To confess, I throw plastics, or any recyclable materials, into recycling bins if I see one, but if not, I used to throw them into regular garbage cans without trying to find proper recycling bins. I questioned myself again “Why?”, and the answer was the same: I choose convenience.
When considered with the article of Curthoys, L. & Cuthburtson, B. (2002), “One desired outcome of ecological literacy is the development of sustainable communities, where, … the entire web of life on which our long-term survival depends”(p. 226) and the result of my exercise, I felt very shameful. It showed me that I am negating the concept of sustainability and the process of embodying ecoliteracy, which is critical for me to pursue “the art of sustainable living.” (Curthoys, L. & Cuthburtson, B., 2002., p. 227) However, one good thing this reflection gave me is that now I know that I need to change, hence I decided my personal goals: Reduce the usage of plastic/disposable products in daily life, and if I happen to use them, make sure to recycle them properly. As “sustainable community requires the sharing of individual ecological wisdoms through all forms of human expression” (Curthoys, L. & Cuthburtson, B., 2002., p. 226), I hope that those of my personal goals could become one form of the expression, so that I would be able to truly understand the statement of O’Riley, P. & Cole, P. (2009)’s, “the lesson is you are environment” (p. 128).