Grist Magazine has opened a confessional today: “So tell us … what’s your dirty little environmental secret?” Below, confess your sins. I’ll go first:
From Grist‘s Soapbox column — I’ll make them go first, and my confessions follow:
I know this is going to come as a shock to you all, but someone needs to speak the truth. It seems that environmentalists have a bit of a reputation for being holier-than-thou — even, dare I say it, evangelistic. In our zeal to save the planet, we both scare and bore our fellow citizens, who see us as righteous beyond reason.
This is bad form, and bad politics. So let’s try something new: Let’s share our humanity. Perhaps we can endear ourselves to the congregation by admitting our eco-sins — moral slip-ups like, oh, failing to recycle a crusty ketchup bottle, double-flushing the potty, or ripping up the backcountry in a Chevy Tahoe. To be sporting, I’ll go first.
Ahem. I admit to taking long, hot showers when it’s cold outside. These showers can be so long that my fingers prune, and my husband knocks at the door to see if I’m OK. (Of course, he doesn’t really want to know if I’m OK. He wants to know why I’m wasting the contents of our hot-water tank, not to mention the gas to heat it!) And I also admit that I’m frustrated that there are apparently two types of recycled toilet paper: gossamer and 100-grit. This is why I sometimes sneak the good stuff — the squeezable, quilted, temperate-rainforest-on-a-roll kind — into the house. …
- I like to put a spot of bleach in my dish water even though it ends up in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, inside salmon and orcas! (God I’m awful.)
- I have a couple Procter & Gamble products under my kitchen sink (Spic and Span and Febreze) because, sometimes, there’s nothing like the toxic stuff to clean up a mess
- I occasionally get tired of paying more for “green” toilet paper, and buy the cheaper, fluffier stuff
- Even though I’m admonishing all of YOU to write Congress about the new energy bill, I haven’t written my letters yet!
Okay, I really hate myself now. In my defense: I’m a fanatical recycler. But there are times: Those rotten-fish stinky, food-caked cat food cans often end up in the trash, not the recycling bin.
How many “Hail Mary’s” is that worth? Or what penance should be required?