Despite deeply caring about the Earth and what happens to it, I take plenty of actions that contribute to climate change and other environmental problems on a daily basis. Unfortunately my transgressions are many and will fill up more than one post, so this type of “confession” article may have to occur on a somewhat regular basis.
I’m not Catholic and don’t really know how confession works besides what I’ve seen in movies, but here is a list of ways I contribute to the Earth’s problems:
- I drive my own gas-powered car. I love my Subaru Forester and it does a wonderful job transporting me and my dogs without much hassle, but it runs on gasoline and therefore emits greenhouse gases and other air pollutants every time I turn it on. I live in the suburbs, so I drive myself every place I need to go. Although I own a bicycle, I haven’t used it as much as I could during the warmer months.
- I eat meat. The production of meat uses a ton of energy and produces a lot of greenhouse gases, but I still consume it on a weekly basis. I love cheeseburgers. And steak. And chicken wings. Eating meat that has been produced on a commercial scale is not good for the Earth or my body. Although I don’t eat as much meat as I used to, I still haven’t kicked the habit.
- I am removed from the production of my food. Most of the food that I eat has been produced in another part of the country or another part of the world, but I could not tell you where. A ton of energy is used and greenhouse gases are emitted to grow my food, package my food, and then transport it to me, but I am completely removed from the process. I simply go to the grocery store or a restaurant, buy my food, and eat it.
- I waste water. I take longer showers than I need to. I rinse off the dishes using more water than I should, and then run them through the dishwasher. I use a lot of electricity by running electronics and lights (the production of electricity requires a lot of water, so every time I use electricity, I’m also using water).
- I buy new products. I have a subscription to Amazon Prime and have the ability to order new products in less than a minute on my computer or phone. I use this superpower to purchase whatever product I think I need at the moment, instead of making do with what I already own, or purchasing the product used.
- I fly on airplanes. For eight years, I lived in Austin, Texas, which is a 24-hour drive from my family, so I opted to fly. Until very recently, I didn’t think about all of the fossil fuels that are burned up by me jumping on an airplane to see my family over the holidays, go on vacation, or visit friends around the country.
So there you have it. I am proud to say that I used to be worse and have taken steps to be less wasteful and harmful to this planet, but I still use up more than my fair share of resources and I want to be better.