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.