The Problem With Convenience

As our world and economy develop, we’re finding new ways to go about our daily lives in an effort to make our existence as easy and comfortable as possible. We’ve designed cars with cushy interiors that take away from gas efficiency, travel-sized and disposable soaps, snacks, and household items, and developed toxic chemicals that can kill weeds or clean our shower drains while wreaking havoc on the environment.

The desire and “need” for convenient and comfortable lifestyles have led to the development of companies like Monsanto whose development of GMO crops have resulted in a more efficient and predictable crop, but have also damaged green spaces and water supplies around the globe. We have started challenging nature’s decisions and have begun to manipulate the land in order to make our own lives more comfortable.

The price of comfort is paid in a number of ways. The millions of plastic bottles and containers generated per year is staggering, and with the mentality that “someone else” will recycle or drive a more fuel efficient car leads to a massive attitude of disregard towards the environment. In this estimate from 2007, 17 million barrels of oil were required to produce plastic for water bottles in the United States — enough oil to power 1 million cars. The potability of the majority of American water makes me question why there is such high demand for bottled water. Has this become a luxury item ? Or are people fearful of what is in their tap water ?

If people are in fact fearful of what their water contains, there must be a reason behind it. As shown in Gasland, people across the country being exposed to toxic fracking chemicals which are leaking into their groundwater supply. Monsanto’s production of glyphosate has resulted in pollution of groundwater sources. In order to curb our environmental imposition, the need for convenience has to be reduced. There are small steps that people can take everyday that can make an impact like not buying plastic bottles and working to ban the use of Monsanto’s poisonous herbicide. It might take some adjusting to, but in the end, it will lead to a healthier planet.