Everyday I cause harm. But it’s ok.
This is a summary of my actions that have a negative impact on the earth, people, and critters. This list is not all encompassing and I’m certain that I am not aware of some of the burdens I outsource. I am certain that I screw up more than this list can explain. I don’t shame myself, though, because I have come a long way and will continue to work on these issues.
I live in San Diego, which is a desert. All the water I use is transported from far away.
I use hot water sometimes when cold water would have gotten the job done just fine.
I am a bit wasteful when washing my dishes.
My apartment does not run on alternative energy (except for my bedroom).
I leave lights on unnecessarily and forget to unplug electronics.
I still haven’t replaced my CFL bulbs with more efficient LED bulbs (the CFL’s are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, though).
I fly in planes over ten times each year.
Sometimes I get a ride in a gas-powered vehicle.
I belong to an electric car share program but the electricity used to power the cars is created by fossil fuels.
I take an electric car on occasion when I could bike instead.
I am not very knowledgeable of public transportation since I mostly bike, walk, or just don’t go places that are far away when I’m local.
I’ve thrown things away that should be recycled.
I’ve purchased goods with wasteful packaging.
When my compost was full this year I threw away some kitchen scraps.
I can’t always resist ice cream, especially Ben & Jerry’s. I’m mostly plant-based but not quite.
Some of the things I purchase are not grown in California, where I live, even though everything I could possibly need is grown here.
I buy new things when I could have bought used.
I support some businesses that do not practice social and environmental responsibility.
I am often careless and break things resulting in me needing to repair or replace them. Take my cracked iPhone screen, for example.
I am not always nice and I get cranky.
I don’t treat EVERYONE equally.
I am not always fair.
I forget to listen.
I have made huge strides in the last few years to lessen my impact on the earth and be a human for all humans, but there is still work to be done. I recognize that these practices take time to develop and I am proud of, but not satisfied with, where I am today. I do not ever intend to be perfect because I believe that we don’t have to be perfect. The earth can handle some of our burden, just not in the large scale we are throwing down right now.
Just two years ago I ate a lot of meat, drove a car, consumed way too much beer, consumed the newest electronics, and was running a business that sold a product with a negative impact on the earth. I can’t go back in time to change what I’ve done, but I can move forward. I will continue to educate myself and take action on the information that I gather.
We are all on our own path and we all move along at our own pace. Embrace where you are today and set goals for where you’d like to be next week, month, and year. To start, focus on the positive changes you would enjoy making and from there you just may hit the slippery slope and slide into a truly environmentally friendly lifestyle.
I am here to help all of you so please ask for help if you’d like it. If you think this story could help someone you know please share it.