Five Green Sins, In No Particular Order

Quite randomly, the environmental “sins” that come to mind.  Some I’ve accepted for now, others I’ve been trying to change for ages and haven’t been able to kick them up from “to do” to “done”.  With no further rhyme nor reason, here is my week’s green confessional:

Loving a long, hot shower.  The kind that creates a different medium in the bathroom so that when a son enters (uninvited, naturally), he recoils from the wall of steam and exits.  So indulgent that I ration them out, and try to mitigate damage by using way less water than average in between (which mitigation doesn’t really work, of course).

Being a two-car family.  Cars are an environmental nightmare, and my husband and I got along with one very happily for many years.  But then he got a job across town inaccessible by transit (35 minutes by car, over 90 minutes by transit each way), which left me and the three kids (6, 4 and 1) to get to school (2km and 4 km away), activities, and errands by foot, bike, bus, or car share.  I tried for almost a year.  Transportation took up most of my energy, and I wanted to throw myself off a bridge.  We’ll be a one-car family again, but not until we’re at a different life stage with the children.

Buying non-recycled, non-FSC paper.  So far unvaryingly.

Watching my hair sway in the gentle breezes inside my house.  Weather-stripping and insulating this tent of a 100 year old house has been weighing down my conscience and my energy bills for years.  We’ve made some half-hearted attempts at this, but they’re lame.  We spent good coin on a high-efficiency furnace a few years ago, but could reduce our carbon footprint and our bills just as much by stopping up the holes in this place, and yet we haven’t done it.

Never shutting down the computer.  We’ve had major problems with our computer in the past, and bought a new one last year.  Our computer guy said never to shut it down, as updates etc. happen at all hours.  When I raised the environmental cost of that, he assumed I was taking about financial cost instead and said it wouldn’t cost much to keep it on.  I don’t have the knowledge and feel too much at the mercy of the computer to argue back, so the thing is on all the time.

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2 thoughts on “Five Green Sins, In No Particular Order

  1. I hear you about the 2 car family thing. We had no car until the kids were born and are now a one car family. And, up until the kids started school, the car would actually sit in the driveway all day. My husband and I could both walk to work and the daycare was on the way. Once the kids were in school, my hours changed and I started having to use the car but that still wasn’t too bad.

    In May, my husband’s office relocated and he began biking to work (the bike is 10K each way but he can do it in 25 minutes… the bus takes 90 mins). With winter weather coming he has started talking about us getting a second car… it makes me feel so guilty to see us going in the opposite direction environmentally. When everyone else is talking about cutting back, our carbon footprint is growing exponentially!

    Oh, and I also love a long hot shower! 🙂

    • It took me a long time to accept the second car thing, but it truly was impractical to be without one (lugging three carseats to the car share with no hands free to actually take care of the kids was just crazy). I still try to walk, bike, and use transit where I can – having the car doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time (although one’s idea of inconvenient changes when convenience is parked in the garage, I’ve noticed).

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