In the time that opened up I suddenly had a huge crisis of conscience. The news was filled with the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Thousands of people left with nothing and nowhere to go. All around the edges were the stories from Libya and Australia where people were suffering from catastrophic events. Buying something for the sake of having something new dramatically lost it's appeal in the face of both the heartwrenching human loss and ongoing environmental erosion I knew was devastating our planet. I sat on the floor looking around our beautiful new bathroom and suddenly I couldn't justify spending money on something I didn't really need. I already had perfectly good towel rods and a toilet roll holder. I was physically uncomfortable at the idea that I would even consider crossing the line of spending on such trivial things as the earth groaned under the strain of the latest disasters. And what, I wondered, would become of these old things that were in perfect condition but simply not wanted? I wouldn't dare fill up the local landfill with something unlikely to break down in many lifetimes. So, they would have to go to a thrift shop to be sold and earn money for a good charity. That took away some of the sting.
But the longer I allowed myself to weigh the options the more obvious it was that to buy new would be contributing to the over-consumption that I have so often railed against as a destructive force to our planet. Damn. All I wanted was to put something pretty in my lovely little bathroom. In the end, I could not justify to myself buying new accessories. And what has been most revealing is how really good I feel about my decision. Every time I walk into the bathroom I am happy; happy about how fresh it looks; happy with the old towel rods and toilet holder; happy with myself. I don't always get this right but this time, I listened to my crisis of conscience and I know it made a difference.