As a disabled, chronically sick autistic person that lives alone, I definitely "waste" more than some of my healthy non-disabled peers. But that doesn't make it wrong.
I buy more pre-prepped frozen veg that comes in single-use plastic. I buy more ready meals that comes in plastic. I spend more than I used to on takeaways, money that I don't particularly have to spare.
But none of it is actually a waste of resources, physical or financial. Because it helps me cope.
There's so much pressure put on the implications of individual action, but we have to be mindful of where to draw the line.
It's so important everyone has access to information regarding options available, but I also think we need less policies and campaigns that focus solely on lowering individuals carbon footprints.
Viral posts online talk about how ridiculous it is that there's so much pre-prepped fruit and vag in plastic on the supermarket shelves. Without consideration for the fact that makes it more accessible for some people, they simply label it lazy.
We're putting pressure on individual citizens instead of the large companies. Like many things, we have been purposefully redirected to focusing on each other, and not on the mass corporate issues at play. Unfortunately, disable people often pay the price for that.
Maybe you've had to sit under the shower several times today, and you're worried about your water usage and it's environmental impact. But it helped you with your pain when nothing else was working, so it's not a waste of water.
Maybe you've had to eat ready meals in single-use plastic, but if that's the best way for you to safely and comfortably feed yourself then it's not a waste of plastic. Even if you wish it was different.
Maybe you've had to spend money on equipment or care. Even if it's money you don't really have, money you could've and feel you should've spent on another cause, if it helps you then it isn't a waste.
Maybe you've had to take extra time to rest for your health and/or wellbeing. Even when it's not how you want to be spending your time, and you want to spend it marching and raising awareness, it isn't a waste of a day if it's what you need.
Maybe you have to watch reruns of your favourite childhood films and tv shows to regulate yourself. Even if you'd like to learn more and read more, it's not a waste of your brainspace if you don't have the capacity to spare.
Please don't feel too guilty over how you live. Yes, it's important to be aware of our actions and their impact. It's important people are given accessible and inclusive information on options available.
But there are a handful of powerful people that could be doing a great deal to help and they aren't. Don't direct that anger or dismay onto yourself.
You don't deserve it.