Sometimes, I’m a Big Green Hypocrite!

I am, by no means, perfect when it comes to green living.

There are many, many things I know I can easily replace in my home that consume energy. I can easily do more.

So why don’t I? Because I’m used to convenience. I like my food processor and my coffee maker. I love my vacuum and my lawnmower. I had once made a vow to begin replacing items in my home with green equivalents, if or when they broke down or got used up. Old habits die hard. My first instinct is to head to Walmart and pick up a replacement at a very low, low price.

The question I’ve began asking myself lately is, how low, low are these prices in the end? And if I’m going to truly live a green lifestyle, should I not take these little things a bit more seriously? Perhaps my new coffee maker was less that $50, but how much electricity over its lifetime will it consume? How many paper filters will I use and throw away? How many half full pots of coffee will I throw out to make fresh?

I don’t have the answer to these questions other than to say that I am still being wasteful. I am a big green hypocrite. I attempt to live greenly, but not as much as I should. I get lazy. I rationalize things. Well, I used my fabric bags at the grocery store today, so I’m good! I’ve done my part today! As I get home and realize I left my bathroom light on, again.

I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I want to make green living second nature to me. This means replacing thirty-five years of wasteful conditioning with eco-centric living. It’s definitely going to take time. It’s definitely going to take baby steps and new habits being created daily. I’ve heard that it takes three weeks to establish a new good habit to replace an old bad one. So if I keep trying and keep working at this, it’s sure to pay off little by little!


I think so.

An original 5 Minutes for Going Green post! Beth blogs about her urban homesteading life at Coming Up For Air.

Also, don’t forget: There are 2 more days to enter the Home Depot’s “Save Money. Save Energy. Win Big!” contest. Details here.

9 Responses to Sometimes, I’m a Big Green Hypocrite!
  1. Alison
    November 7, 2008 | 10:12 am

    Me too! All of my green to-do lists with nothing scored off are evidence enough to convict me of being imperfect and wasteful :-( The problem is that we are not paying now for our wasteful habits, but borrowing against the future of the Earth. Do we need a different currency than money to help us?

  2. Mommy Bee
    November 7, 2008 | 1:35 pm

    The day I started boycotting walmart was a turning point for me…when I couldnt’ just run there and get the cheap-whatever anymore, I had to start thinking more about what I DID get. It’s been a great ride since then. :)
    Obviously I’m not perfect, but getting WM out of my life has really helped.

  3. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    November 7, 2008 | 7:16 pm

    Well, I may not be much of a hypocrite, but I’m worse… I still cling to my conveniences and pad myself with excuses.

    I need to push myself harder… and thanks to all of you fantastic writers here at 5 Minutes for Going Green, I’m learning and being reminded of baby steps that I can start taking.

  4. Condo Blues
    November 7, 2008 | 10:08 pm

    I don’t think that getting rid of all the perfectly usable things that you already have and replacing them is always the best way to go green. Most of the items you listed in your post that you wanted to replace don’t have Energy Star equivalents and in some cases replacing a usable item with a new Energy Star equivalent can cause more waste and that’s just as bad too. For example, my kitchen appliances are less than 4 years old and came new with my house. They aren’t Energy Star. I compared what I had to the Energy Star equivalent and found that I would only save $1.00 a year in operating costs. If you throw in the impact of delivering new eco-appliances, removing and recycling the old appliances guess what? Getting all new eco stuff to replace my current stuff was more damaging to the environment.

    As a green blogger, I get excited about new technologies and ways to green my house. Nevertheless, sometimes it takes an exercise like the above with my appliances to really remind myself that the greenest thing to do is to keep and use the stuff you already have and that it’s perfectly OK and in some cases better for the environment to keep the stuff I have and repair it when it’s broken.

  5. Beth (Coming Up For Air)
    November 7, 2008 | 10:42 pm

    Condo Blues:

    I’m sorry you mistook my post to say I was throwing out my old stuff and replacing it with new Energy Star appliances. That is not the case. As a matter of fact, many of the small appliances I felt needed to be replaced with non-energy consuming ones, I have donated to our local thrift store charity that benefits children of domestic abuse – not thrown them out. As I’ve replaced them, I’ve bought appliances that are non-electric and non-energy consuming. The only energy consumed is my own since many of them are hand appliances. My post was merely to point out that there are many things in my home I have not gotten rid of because they are a convenience for me. Sometimes convenience items are not earth friendly, and for that, I feel wasteful. However, they are not being replaced and I am not creating a consumer debt upon Mother Earth. If I do need to purchase anything new for our home, I am trying to make going to Walmart not at the front of my mind, but rather taking the time to research and find better alternatives. My post was merely about creating new and greener habits for myself in an effort to replace the poor habits I grew up with!

  6. Lisa in Chicago
    November 8, 2008 | 10:38 pm

    I’ve really looked at items that use too much energy in my home too. We keep the electric coffee brewer unplugged unless we use for brewing a large pot of coffee. Most days we use our Chemex brewer or French press. Both use water from a kettle. Paper filters go into the compost bin with the used grounds.

  7. Jenni (My Web of Life)
    November 10, 2008 | 2:33 pm

    I can relate to this post so much, it might as well have been written by me!!! It really is a struggle between green-ness and convenience, isn’t it? I am also a hypocrite, but I’ve noticed that some habits that used to seem inconvenient to me now are second nature. I guess it is a matter of making small changes until, before you know it, you are living a better, more green lifestyle. At least this is what I keep telling myself when I am having pangs of eco-guilt!

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