Saving Time vs. The Environment

by M.T. Davila

How convenient are our "shortcuts" of today on the Earth of tomorrow?

As a follower of the simple life I am an avid reader of magazines and newsletters such as Family Circle and the Dollar Stretcher Newsletter. I am very concerned about some of the advice I have been reading in some women's magazines recently for us busy folk who need to find more time to spend with family, friends, and ourselves. One recent article proposed that in order to save some minutes at night and on weekends one set the table with disposable ware such as plastic utensils and paper plates. According to the article, this reduces the amount of time spent clearing the table and doing dishes and opened up the night for "quality time".

This is a very dangerous perspective. How much is it worth to us to be done quickly with chores in order to have more "quality time" available? Is it worth the landfill that we are creating with paper and plastic products? What will the effects of our extra 15 minutes today be on the earth tomorrow?

We must remember that our priority for simple living is to help each other and help the planet. Our list of shortcuts should always consider the effects to the environment.

As an alternative, re-define the words "quality time" to include setting the table with the family, clean-up, and dishwashing. Clean-up after the Sunday meal for my family in Puerto Rico is a prestigious role where confidences are shared that were not appropriate for the dinner table.

I invite you once again to alwauys consider the effects on the environment of any "shortcut" you may be trying in order to simplify your life. Your children and mine, and their children, will thank you for it.

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