Easier to be lazy than environmentally friendly: OPINION

A MERE three months after moving back to NSW I've realised how easy it is to not do the right thing when you are given free rein with plastic bags.

Where I lived for the past six years single-use shopping bags were banned in 2013 and it became second nature to keep in the car the organic cotton shopping totes I'd made. It took a few months but once I got into the swing of things (so to speak), I used them for shopping every time without really thinking about it.

Now I'm surrounded by plastic again (they seem to breed like wire coat hangers in the wardrobe overnight) after living for all that time without a single one in the house.

I thought I'd just get a small number to use as rubbish-bin liners, but before I realised I had accumulated about 30 of the buggers, and now I have to rid myself of them again.

Because, here's the thing: it's sheer laziness that makes us use plastic bags.

I existed quite happily without them until they became available again. If I was able to cope without them for that period, why was I tempted to use them again?

They're sitting in the laundry, glowering at me every time I do a load of washing with my holier-than-thou phosphate-free environmentally friendly washing powder, and I feel so bad.

As bad as I feel when I don the fleece jumpers I bought four years ago thinking I was doing the right thing because they were made from recycled PET bottles.

That, I thought, was a double plus for the environment; as I don't drink bottled water or soft drink, I was actually ridding the planet of other people's rubbish.

Now I find that nanoparticles have been breaking off every time I wash the wretched things and are being found in the fish that I feel guilty about eating.

And I can't throw the clothing out because it is virtually indestructible and would end up in landfill where it would sit festering for a century.

Similarly, after six years with tank water and solar panels on the roof, I now luxuriate in 15-minute super-hot showers, living now in an area blessed with a high rainfall and mains water.

I've all but forgotten about how I used to only flush the loo when absolutely necessary, and I no longer have to lurk outside bathroom doors reminding guests to please turn the tap off while brushing their teeth in order to not waste the precious resource.

No more guilt, either, when I wash my car - at least I do that on the grass so the suds don't end up in the ocean 200m away.

It's not easy being green.