Why are You Wasting Time for the Sake of Convenience?


We are all busy, right? And one-time use, pre-packaged, single serving, on-the-go, easy to dispose of (but not really easy to dispose of) products flood the market. Our belief is these single-serving items are supposed to be making our lives easier and more convenient. But do they really save time? Are they really more convenient?  

If you were to do a little experiment and keep a running total of the amount of trash you produce in a single day, you would be astounded. The average American produces a huge amount of trash — up to six pounds of trash in just one day. That amount could go down to 4.5 pounds if you recycle, but since some countries like China are no longer accepting recycling to sort, even your recycling could end up in the trash.

Can we really say our lives are easier when we have six pounds of trash we have to sort and dispose of…every. single. day?

We don’t even have to go into the environmental impact of all of that waste (because we should totally be ashamed, but I am not here to shame anyone); let’s instead talk about the time you are wasting. For example, it may seem more convenient to stock bottled water by the case (like we don’t already have that on tap) instead of being tasked with filling up the same reusable bottle. Let me explain why this is a waste of time. 

Why are you Wasting Time for the Sake of Convenience?If my husband runs out of bottled water from the case he keeps in his car, he will make a special stop at a gas station to buy a case of it. If I am at the grocery store, I will lug a case of water in the bottom of my cart through the parking lot and hoist it into my car only to later hoist it into his car. Not only is time wasted purchasing the bottled water, but the money spent on it also took time to earn and now that is gone, too. Then we will spend time moving this case of water from the back seat to the trunk when it is in my way while I am installing the car seat. Or we lug the case inside the house only to move that case of water every time it gets in my way in the pantry. Now I have wasted time again; this time sorting trash I haven’t even thrown away yet. Later, I will hover over the water bottle graveyard that collects in the car’s passenger seat floor, tossing each bottle into the nearby recycling bin in the driveway. More time is wasted and by the time those bottles hit the trash, I will have handled them five times — only one time for actual drinking and the rest is for purchasing, storing, sorting and disposing. That is a minimum, of course, assuming the case of bottles never got in the way and had to be moved around…and y’all know those cases are so heavy you have to let out a little grunt every time you pick one up. 

And we do all of this for the sake of convenience, right? 

In my opinion, the person that keeps the same reusable bottle and fills it up has it made. They live the good life. Compare that to lugging around a 26-pound case of trash (oops, I mean bottled water) for what seems to be no good reason, especially considering I already have reusable bottles. 

If you take a step back and look at all the disposable items you use on a regular basis with a different lens — and start to consider that time spent buying, storing, sorting, and disposing of the items, plus earning money to routinely pay for them — would you really consider them to be convenient?

Here is a handy list of tips to eliminate waste and plastic around your house, and save time (and money!) in the long run:

  • Shop in bulk. This will save you money and unnecessary packaging on household items like rice, pasta, beans, and nuts. In Knoxville, look at Trader Joe’s and Three Rivers Market as options to shop in bulk and limit waste.
  • Stop using plastic cutlery. Invest in metal reusable cutlery for your home. Also, if you’re at work and order take-out, it’s easy to pack a set of forks or spoons instead of using the plastic set that come with your take out. You can get a portable pack of silverware that fits in your lunchbox!
  • Stop using your plastic toothbrush. About one billion toothbrushes are thrown out each year and that creates an insane amount of waste. Even though they need to be replaced just as much as plastic toothbrushes, bamboo brushes only take six months to biodegrade. They are sold at Three Rivers Market.
  • Avoid cosmetic products that include microbeads. Face washes that included microbeads are just plastic that work to exfoliate your face. But millions of microbeads are washed down the drain and cause harm to marine life. You can use exfoliating gloves instead.
  • Don’t use plastic bags. If you need to store things for later, use aluminum foil or waxy paper like beeswax paper, which works just as well. Use storage containers that you can keep and use again and again.
  • Use cloth rags. Cloth rags are reusable with a simple wash in the washer. They reduce paper towel waste and also the use of plastic garbage bags.
  • Stop buying bottled water. Invest in a water purifier to reduce the plastic waste and save money in the long run.

What else can we add to this list? Share your suggestions by leaving a comment!


  1. Love this! I’m a water snob for sure… lol!
    Refilling a stainless steel tumbler or glass water bottle is a lot healthier than plastic bottles too. Did you know a study concluded that there are actually tiny little plastic particles leaching into the water in those bottles as they sit? You’re literally drinking pieces of plastic when you drink out of a plastic water bottle. Not to mention the various hormone disrupters they keep finding in plastic.

    Check out Etsy or your friends on Facebook and I promise you’ll find someone who even makes really cute stainless steel tumblers that you can have personalized for the whole family!


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