What is a rebel?

Photo: ISSA

“A man who says no, but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation.” Wise words by AlbertCamus (full disclaimer: I have not read TheRebel. I came across the quote long ago and remembered it while writing this entry).

I’ve been feeling like a rebel lately. My blog says “no” but my actions show otherwise. In the last seven days, I’ve taken home leftovers from a restaurant in a plastic food box, used a paper plate and plastic fork, accepted supermarket meat from a plastic bag, and the list goes on. I have not been refusing things I don’t need, despite my enthusiasm for being more environmentally friendly.

I have been trying to take note of all the things I use and all the things I throw away. I’d like to think I was pretty diligent at taking down everything on my first day at it. I probably lasted until the early afternoon when I forgot – both to log in and refuse.  So early in the game yet already so delinquent!

At dinner out with some friends, there were some leftovers from our meal. No one wanted them so I volunteered to take them home. The leftovers arrived in a reusable plastic container in a paper bag, and of course I realized at that moment that I had forgotten step #1, which was to refuse. To make things worse, I forgot that I had a clean Tupperware in my bag!

I was at the supermarket another time. I knew I brought a Tupperware for the meats, except that I left them in the car. Imagine my frustration upon my realization! I had to put the meats in a plastic bag, and throw it away right after. At least my eco bag is always a staple in my purse! Phew.

I like how people nowadays are starting to ask where things they buy come from. That’s great and all, especially if you want to support local or make sure the ingredients that go into your food or skincare are not made of harmful ingredients, or if you want to know that the clothes you wear weren’t made in a sweatshop. However, another critical question we need to ask is where does it all go? We also need to think about what happens to our stuff when we’ve lost interest in them, or when we’re done using them.

More than writing down what things I throw away and whatnot, it’s really getting into the habit of refusal that will be most challenging. It also helps you think of what is really important and what is sustainable. My game plan for this challenge would be to bring around a Tupperware and a set of utensils for a start, in case there are places I go with only disposable utensils or if I’ll have to bring home leftovers at a restaurant. Yes, I’ll be that annoying person bringing out my own gear from my bag. If you see me, don’t forget to say hi (and show me your matching Tupperware and reusable utensils)!


  1. Where does it all go? Same.
    Rooting hard for this blog.

    1. Unlike time, garbage does not disappear into a black hole. Thanks for the roots. Don't let me get uprooted!

  2. I refused a straw today thanks to your inspiring writing! Pat on my back haha :)


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