Too tired…

Posted: August 18, 2012 by grogknobb in Week 4: Final Reflections

So today my 5-8:30 shift turned into 3pm to 2am, and now I now that I finally get a chance to sit  and write, all I can think about is taking a hot shower, microwaving a hot pocket and going to sleep.

Therein lies the problem.

After four weeks of doing my best (or some approximation thereof) to eliminate individually packaged foods and garbage heavy eating, I have learned one thing; my lifestyle is simply not conducive to sustainable snacking.

I also feel like I am not alone. In a 2000 study of stress effects on college students, student researchers at Linfield College found that over 71% of respondents had consumed some form of “junk food” in the last 24 hours. (Source) The percent also showed a direct correlation between stress levels and unhealthy eating habits. The truth is that eating poorly is a common response to the stresses present in adult life, and coupled with the inherently unstable and frantic qualities of student living, junk foods provide a calming outlet as well as a predictable experience and a convenient alternative to the unnecessary hassle of food preparation. While it may sound as if I’ve strayed from garbage to obesity, but the point I’m driving at is that these types of food are the chief culprit in the epidemic of unfortunately convenient packaging. 



That last one was the epitome of clever.


The point is that between school and work, group meetings some excuse for a social life, the number of times I will be predictably home, hungry, and have the willpower to cook something from scratch can be counted on one hand.

That’s not a lot of times.

I need for my food to be as accessible and modular as possible to fit both the amount of time I have and the quantity of food I desire.

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables has an element of risk to it. I cannot guarantee that by the time I have the inclination to eat them, they won’t have rotted.


I cannot, if you’ll excuse my forcing this in here, sustain this pledge. I have little doubt that my tastes and lifestyle will shift over the next few years, naturally curving me towards more sustainable practices, but for the time being, I need to do what’s best for me.

As tragic as that sounds, I believe that this particular issue will far to the private manufacturing sector to remedy. The time is right for distribution channels everywhere to make a move towards biodegradable packing materials and ecologically sustainable transportation alternatives.

For safety’s sake I had better address the prompt more directly. One of the reasons I son’t have plans to continue with my PSP is that in almost every respect, it will have no measurable effect on anything. To say that the reduction of my trash footprint is a “drop in the ocean” would be a gross overstatement of its impact. Were the world to adopt the same philosophy (the one about activism, not the one about pessimism), that would change the story considerably.

What I will do is approach my life with a new tint to my own personal lens. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully ignore the invisible tragedy that is the candy aisle of the mini-mart or the horror of the brimming trashcans of fast food joints. That doesn’t mean I won’t patronize these places, just that this new source of first world guilt might give me pause in the future. I can’t promise that I’ll change, but I can solemnly swear that I’ll feel bad about that fact.

Now that I’m about to hit send, I think I’ll pop out the the 7-11 for a snack. One slice of pizza, because if I were to get a hotdog, the bun would come in a tiny plastic wrapper, and that’s just a little more hypocrisy than I can stand right now.










Two final, unrelated notes: Citing sources in a reflection piece is something I found difficult. It might just be that I haven’t had to cite a source in the last three or four years (business major etc) but this was a struggle for me.

Second, and I can find no organic way to work this into anything, this show on the BBC is all about challenging preconceptions (kinda) and is the most worthwhile thing that I have ever watched. After finding this clip randomly, I immediately acquired all 8 seasons.

  1. julie says:

    What types of sustainable PSP-esque actions might be better for someone super busy/poor? Maybe small actions that don’t take much time but do save money? Turning off lights, unplugging things you aren’t using, washing clothes on ‘cold’, etc.? Good luck!!

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