Today I went to Costco to get some food for a crowd (for a party). As I walked in I felt kind of judgmental of all the "stuff" lined up enticing me to buy. I'm guilty of falling for it all the time when I go there. I tell myself, "I'm only going to purchase X and Y" and yet I leave with those plus five other items that I convince myself I need.
I recognize from all my eco-research that they also sell many items which are not great for the environment. I saw a woman who bought a huge container of conventional automatic dish washing detergent and I wanted to scream about how bad that product is for the environment. Of course I didn't! But the experience made me wonder why I shop there at all if my values are not aligned with it.
Thankfully, I did see a few items that were eco-friendly, and it occurred to me that there is a place for these stores in our lives. Not everyone is going to run off and join the commune to save the planet. If we can get more eco-friendly products available in stores like Costco, imagine the impact it would make.
Of course it would be better if we all bought our goods from the farmers market and never bought a packaged item again, but is that ever going to happen? Everything in life seems to come back to finding a balance. The balance is what I am searching for, between the worlds I straddle of eco-idealism and modern American reality.
Just for the record—I did buy more than I went for. And it wasn't all eco-perfect. Sigh.