Organic obstacles

My recent trip to Fort Ilocandiaquestion_mark in Ilocos Norte was a wake up call on how challenging living an eco-friendly life could be.  See, my cousin and I ordered some late lunch at one of their restaurants on our first day there, and we ordered it to-go (or take-out, a Filipinism). When our orders arrived, each dish was stored inside a styrofoam box. And of course, we had some plastic spoons and forks as well as a large plastic bag where all the stuff we ordered were placed.

I would have to confess that I totally forgot that food to-go (take-out) means having to place it in a styrofoam box. I began wishing for Fort Ilocandia restaurants to start using food grade paper boxes, or better yet, we should have brought our own reusable containers to lessen the trash the country accumulates. And also to lessen my guilt, somewhat.

Should I write a letter to Fort Ilocandia that while their resort is very purrrty, it would be purrrtier and more easy on the conscience if they go greener?

My second wake-up call came yesterday in the form of fake designer bags sold at Divisoria. See, my cousin bought seven purses marked Coach, Burberry and Gucci…all pretty…all imitations…all “pasalubong” (gifts) to family and friends when he gets back to the U.S. I have to admit that I saw two bags that I was sooo itching to buy. But I would also have to admit that my conscience killed my desire to buy it. If I buy those bags, I was afraid that I was also buying labor issues (Did the workers, probably Chinese, work under good conditions and were they compensated properly?), economic issues (Is the deluge of fake bags from China killing our own bag indusrty?), and other peripheral issues (nationalism and colonial mentality, smuggling, materialism, among others). So I ended up salivating for the fake bags while convincing myself that IF I buy, I am not just buying a fake bag that’s pretty, I’m also buying a host of grave issues along with it, so my mind should just shut up about it.

Last but not least, I really want to make a difference in the world. But how to do that with a broken heart is a really a tough question. It’s distracting–this dull thudding in my chest. I’m praying to God to go take this feeling away, but how unfortunate that it seems to want to stay.

I suppose this is part of the package. I mean, if there’s the good, there’s the bad and the ugly, right? These go hand in hand, I guess? These challenges are simply a part of life, of being human. So here I am, soldiering on and hoping for the best. So help me God. Help me do a good job for You.


4 comments on “Organic obstacles

  1. I’ve gone veggie to go greener.
    All the stuff about purchases makes you think about how much every decision we make is a moral decision. It’s a little daunting. But I guess it also makes you think more about where things actually comes from and how lucky you that it has finally come to you.

    • Stef! So happy to hear from you! =) I haven’t gone veggie yet but I’ve limited my intake of processed food. I’m doing it little by little. =) And yes, I agree that every decision we make is a moral decision. We need grace. =)

  2. Aww, good point though. Usually the general perception when it comes to being green is that it’s not practical. But there are green solutions that are both eco-friendly and practical, maybe it admittedly just takes a bit more effort to find them. They’re worth it, though. Which is why your blog is important.

    The letter sounds like a good idea. At least you’ll let them know that their clients take notice of these things. That’s what PAASCU did remember? We students were made to write letters to the Bee and Clown (hint: top fastfood joints) to make them stop using styro and paper wraps? The Clown immediately made a study and after a couple of years started using recycled cardboard containers for their meals and this metallic wrap thing for their burgers (except for the Fillet-o-Fish, dunno why). Unfortunately, the Bee took almost a decade later to respond.

    • Yeah, companies tend to think that being a good corporate citizen is expensive…But actually, CSR is good PR…aside from being good for the environment (Have to credit my PR teacher Sonny Cuenco for that thought, haha).

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