Confessions of a Guilty Environmentalist


One of the biggest questions for me is how do we reconcile the desire for a decent, comfortable lifestyle, with the ever present reality of needing to minimise our impact on the planet?

For me this is problematic. I feel guilty and I’ll tell you for why:

  1. I still eat meat, much less frequently than I used to but I still do. I try to keep it local and high welfare (not sure the kebab shop counts though).
  2. I have to drive for at least part of my week…
  3. I actually enjoy driving…
  4. My car is fast.
  5. I love to travel, sure I offset where I can, but the 10 flights I took in 2017 have to make up for the majority of my carbon footprint.
  6. I own a tumble dryer. I have to. I live in the North of England, I challenge you to get clothes dry here from October to April without one (it’s either that or leave your heating on, clothes permanently accessorising your radiators).
  7. I keep pets, 2 of whom are carnivorous. They are my babies and I don’t care about the carbon.
  8. I occasionally subscribe to fast fashion. The lure of Primark is sometimes irresistible (especially when they have Harry Potter PJs).
  9. I spend far too much time looking at and listening to things that are powered by electricity.
  10. I hoard stationery. Love the stuff.

What I do do is; assist businesses to become more environmentally responsible, teach, recycle, turn off, work as paperless as possible, use natural products to (or more often than not, don’t) clean my house, buy reusable over disposable, compost, grow my own, use cruelty free cosmetics, volunteer when I can, donate to environmental charities (actually put in a good few years working for one) and talk to anyone and everyone about my passion for the natural world.

And that… that’s ok. I am human, I am an occasional hypocrite, but at least I am trying.

What do you feel guilty about? How do you live well and minimise your impact?

5 thoughts on “Confessions of a Guilty Environmentalist

  1. I can totally relate to this, Christine, and I know where you’re coming from. I’ve cut way down on my driving, taking public transport to work instead, but we still own a car and use it to go on day trips or even the occasional longer holiday, and I feel very aware of the carbon footprint of that. When we can afford it, I’d love an electric car in the future. I’m lucky that I live in a part of the world that’s very hot and sunny so just happen to be able to dry clothes outside year round, but you’re absolutely right, what other option is there for you really other than a dryer?
    I definitely have a guilty conscience and so often feel aware of the destructiveness of my existence on this Earth, even if I’m treading lightly as much as possible. My general feeling is that no matter what measures we take, just being alive and meeting our basic needs like food, shelter, medical care and transport, has a significant detrimental environmental impact, especially when we’re living our luxurious first-worlder lives. It’s a constant dilemma for me but I try to not let it get to me, since I figure I’m here to stay – at least for a while! – so I just need to do the best I can during my time on this planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lisa! I’d love an electric car too! This year I’m trying even less animal products, single use, car and air travel. I really don’t know what I’d do without the dryer though. You definately have a great outlook, I think that’s fab, you’re so right, everything has an impact but as long as we are doing everything we can that’s what matters.

      Liked by 1 person

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