Ten Ways in which I’m an Environmental Hypocrite:

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Part of living a more enchanted life for me personally is living a more holistic life. This is because living a life in which we recognize a greater meaning outside of ourselves is one of the most effective ways to find happiness. For me, recognizing that I am a small part of a greater whole on this earth and showing respect and reverence to that whole is part of what makes life truly enchanted. (Hmm… the magic of connecting with the earth? Yeah, I’m hard-core channeling some Pocahontas right now.)

But here’s the thing: sometimes, quite frankly, I suck at it. After reading an article about Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar Speech, environmental hypocrisy has really been on my brain. So, I have listed ten ways that I myself am an environmental hypocrite. I hope, or perhaps I don’t hope, that you can relate:

  1. I have eaten a vegetarian meal out, then taken the left-overs home in a Styrofoam to-go box.
  2. I will carefully rinse out and recycle a bottle of eco-friendly body wash that I used in my hour-long bubble bath.
  3. I spent a significant amount of time thinking of how to use and in some cases re-use items for my wedding in the most efficient and minimalist way, only to then purchase 800 plastic disposable cups.
  4. I chose my car for its energy efficiency, only to drive to a job that is almost 40 minutes away.
  5. I went shopping at a second-hand clothing store for attire for my honeymoon- which will be on a cruise ship.
  6. In order to feel more grounded and connected, I bought a yoga mat…off Amazon.com with free shipping.
  7. I adopted a dog so as not to contribute to the inhumane conditions of puppy mills but I eat meat from factory farms a few times a week.
  8. I have a strong appreciation of wilderness, even though I know that in trespassing on it, it is less preserved than it would be if I just stayed home.
  9. I have found myself on occasion purchasing a nice, new, shiny “eco-friendly” product, even though I may have had a product at home already that would do the same job.
  10. I go paperless for all possible notifications, but I love to edit all of my writing on printed paper rather than on the computer and am a stickler about hand-written thank-you notes.

I don’t have a spark of wisdom this week, or a witty conclusion. Instead, let me know what you think. Was there a time when you found yourself in an environmental contradiction? Do these kinds of small personal sacrifices even have an impact on environmental footprints at all? Was there something that helped you to have a healthier relationship with the earth? Is it better to be an “all-in-perfectionist” environmentalist, a half-baked but well-intended hypocrite like yours truly, or to not try at all? Or, am I looking at the question all wrong? Let me know what you think.

 

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3 thoughts on “Ten Ways in which I’m an Environmental Hypocrite:

  1. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately — how my choices affect other people and other animals and the ecosystem and whatnot. A butterfly flaps its wings, et cetera, et cetera.

    I find it overwhelming. It’s clichéd, but I’ve decided that all I can do is take it one choice at a time, making better choices when I can.*

    I don’t think you’re a hypocrite. Driving 40 minutes in your fuel-efficient car is probably better than driving 40 minutes in a Hummer. None of us is doing every little eco-friendly thing we’re capable of.**

    I don’t think that means we shouldn’t try.

    Maybe the little things aren’t enough to save humanity from climate change, even if we all do the best we can. But I think they make us stop to consider our impact. They make us feel more connected. They make us practice our empathy. They make us kinder.

    At least I hope so.

    * Sometimes that means admitting I don’t have enough information to know what’s truly the better choice.

    **At least most of us aren’t. I found out this week that a woman I follow obsessively on Instagram has a bicycle-powered washing machine. She once posted instructions for making your own. I mean, really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the idea of small changes being beneficial to our mindset is a good point. It’s so easy to say, “I can’t do everything, so I won’t do anything.” Just like it is, really, with so many things in life. I’m not sure why I personally feel black-and-white about environmentalism when I am perfectly comfortable with moderation in other areas. But, maybe just being a drop in the bucket, so to speak, and doing what we can, is enough to keep momentum in the movement.

      Liked by 1 person

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