Confessions of a Hypocrite: How I Fail the Environment


I mentioned in my introductory post that every Friday, I intend to explore and confess ways that I fail to live out the ideals I discuss in my blog. I call this my “Confessions of a Hypocrite” series. Here’s my first one.

On Monday I talked about why taking care of the environment is an essential part of my theology. But the truth is, I still do all kinds of destructive things. I’m still kind of lazy and I fail to do all that I could to protect the environment.  Here are just a few ways I still fail to care for the planet.

  • I leave my computer on all day. From morning to night. Sometimes I put it on sleep mode, but not always. It’s just such a hassle, remembering to click “Stand By” before getting up to go do something else.
  •  I take long, hot showers. I must waste gallons of hot water every month but I find it impossible to shower quickly.
  • We use plastic bags to contain the trash in our trash baskets throughout the house (which then go to the landfill), when I know we could just empty out and reuse the baskets. But then you have to see the gross garbage in there and occasionally clean them out with soap and water (ugh).
  •  I feel that air conditioning is an absolute necessity in a car, and whine and complain when a vehicle doesn’t have it. You think your four-year-old complains a lot when it’s hot? He’s got nothing on me. You’d think I live in the middle of the Arabian Desert, rather than southern Ontario.
  •  We live in a house that’s much larger than it needs to be. We have rooms in our basement that we don’t even use, and we keep them heated throughout the winter. It’s a terrible waste of energy, but we don’t like to be chilly when we use the laundry room down there.
  • I’ve used air travel several times in my life, and will probably use it again in the future, even though I’m pretty sure it’s absolutely devastating to our planet.
  •  I use disposable diapers when we go out, mostly because they’re trimmer under her cute, trendy clothes, and I want people to think we’re fashionable. Sad, right?
  • This one I’m most embarrassed of. I recently talked about why we line-dry our clothes, and said we planned to hang Lydia’s cloth diapers when the weather got warmer. The other day I hung a few, but when I took them down I was dismayed by how stiff they were. I was used to their softness from the dryer and had forgotten how much crunchier they are if they air-dry. I seriously started to consider sticking with the dryer, but didn’t want to tell you on here because of what I’d already said.

I could go on and on listing ways that I know I could improve (I could use handkerchiefs rather than Kleenex; I could be more vigilant about turning lights off when not in use, etc) but you get my point.

My main point is that while I preach eco-consciousness, I am far from exemplary. I hope to always work towards doing better, but right now I’m still consuming far more than I need and contributing to the degradation of our land, water and air with my daily habits and practices.

Just wanted you to know that, and to acknowledge it myself.

How about you? What are some ways you fail to take care of the environment, even though you know it’s important?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. I can’t say for certain, but I think if you calculated the cost to the planet of 300 people travelling by car from San Francisco to New York in 300 automobiles, or in one Boing 747, the latter would be lower.

  2. *traveling

  3. I think this series is going to be awesome. I think we always are afraid that someone is going to find out that we fail at the things we say we believe in, but that’s why it’s so important to talk about it. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to sharing a sigh of relief that I’m not the only one who fails at doing what I say I believe.
    Caitlin recently posted..Thoughtful Moments: The Spring SemesterMy Profile

  4. I like this post because I kind of suck at taking care of the environment. I do try (my town doesn’t have recycling so I sort everything and take it all in myself, win!). Yeah I also cannot take fast showers. If given the opportunity I will stand in there ’till the water runs cold – this, in the middle of the worst drought in Texas history in a town slated to be totally out of water in two years. I am a terrible person. I console myself by thinking about how carefully I conserve water for dishes, laundry and everything else, but still.

  5. @Terry: you’re probably right. I’ve thought about that. But if airfare weren’t available, I’m sure a lot fewer people would be making the trip at all. :) I wouldn’t have driven to England, France or Mexico.

    @Caitlin: thanks for your support! I think everyone benefits when we’re honest about our shortcomings.

    @Emily: Ha: I hear you!

  6. We also are trying to live more sustainably, and we also do almost all those things. I try to line dry all my clothes, at least when it’s warm out (although I’m pretty sure I don’t have a valid reason to not do it all year), and when they’re done drying I throw them in the dryer for 10-15 minutes on “fluff” (no heat). I find that this takes care of the stiffness and also gets off most of the pet hair that might still be clinging to it. I don’t know if it would get it soft enough for you, but it might be worth a try. If it works to your satisfaction it would be a good compromise.
    Lily recently posted..A Plea for Critical ThinkingMy Profile

    • That’s a good idea, Lily! I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks!

      • I struggle with these things, too.

        Maybe you could invest in solar energy? I think an investment like that would make a difference. And maybe you could rent your extra rooms to folks who do not have a living space? Or have them be a hospitality room! Just some ideas!

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge