A dear friend of mine shared with me some valuable wisdom that has made me stop and think. This wisdom has jolted me and I now feel compelled to totally lay all my cards on the table, in the full knowledge that I may lose readers and respect as a result.
So, in the spirit of true honesty and full disclosure (which I thought I had been doing already but I was made to see it in a different light) here are 100 things that I do that are just not eco-friendly. I am working on every one of them as much as I can (even the ones that are totally out of my control) because I believe in walking my talk and I believe that this world can be better.
1. I have a penchant for fried chicken. I love the stuff even though I know itâs totally unhealthy.
2. I donât always remove sticky tape from recycled papers or cardboard.
3. When travelling I use eco-friendly, bio-degradable disposable nappies instead of cloth
4. I leave the outside lights on for my husband who comes home in the dark from work.
5. I get tired some days and donât want to cook.
6. I go out for meals more often than I should because I love being out of the house.
7. I buy teas instead of always making my own blends.
8. My husband buys dodgy non-fair-trade coffee which drives me mental.
9. My husband is a smoker.
10. I procrastinate on things I know that need to be done â like building a goat pen, getting more chickens.
11. I spend far too much time on social media sites.
12. I have a bad temper and I struggle to control it sometimes.
13. I swear WAY too much!
14. I recently wrapped gifts in plastic curling ribbon because itâs all I could find to use whilst I was on holidays.
15. We drive out to the country every weekend to get away from life and the pressures of our businesses.
16. I have a time out corner in the play pen for my daughter when sheâs really naughty.
17. I donât always buy organic foods because I canât find them or canât afford them.
18. I try to make a lot of things but I donât make everything because I have so much work to do in the businesses.
19. My daughter goes to day care.
20. My daughter occasionally is clothed in cheaper items from Kmart or Best and Less because thatâs all I can afford at the time and the thrift stores are out of the items we need.
21. I love wine.
22. I donât make ALL my gifts for friends or family.
23. I like to buy books â often second hand but sometimes new â because I love the feeling of reading them.
24. I sometimes buy magazines â Owner Builder, Country Life
25. I like Lindt chocolate (though I wonât touch Cadburyâs)
26. I take really long showers and feel guilty because I am not catching the water to re-use yet.
27. I am wracked with guilt because we donât have water tanks installed yet.
28. We donât have solar power yet either though we do pay extra for Green Power on our bills.
29. I recycle everything possible but need to find the time to upcycle more.
30. I have bought some soil for my vegetable gardens.
31. I donât like mucking out the chicken coup.
32. My husband still washes the poo off our cloth nappies for me. I did it for a while but have just become sensitive too it again and I gag.
33. My daughter doesnât have kefir everyday in her bottle. Most days yes, but sometimes I run out of kefir and havenât had time to make any for her.
34. I donât schedule my time properly to fit everything in.
35. Sometimes I wake up and think âWhen can I go back to bed and watch DVDâs?â because I am so tired.
36. Sometimes my anxiety gets so bad I honestly think I could go back onto medication to control it. Then I wait and try again to do it myself.
37. Sometimes I miss City life and the Cosmopolitan Single Living I was used to. Then I look at my daughter and I forget about that and smile.
38. I want to live on a farm so we have more space to do everything.
39. Sometimes I wish I wasnât in business so I can just focus on being a Mum and homesteading.
40. Sometimes I find it hard to answer all the questions I am asked and sometimes I donât know the answers other than what I feel, intuitively.
41. I keep my dried herbs for way to long.
42. I have 8 jars of tincture herbs that have been waiting to be strained for over 6 months now.
43. When we were in Thailand the first time in 2011, we couldnât take nappies over and we had to use normal plastic disposable nappies.
44. I love Himalayan Rock Salt even though I know itâs not a sustainable product.
45. Sometimes the food I try cooking turns out so badly I give it to the dog / chooks or compost heap. Such a waste.
46. My daughter has plastic toys â none of which we have purchased ourselves though.
47. Sometimes when I am having a terrible day I crave the most disgusting junk food and Iâll eat it â KFC is the main culprit here. I am improving though â much less than I used to even though I love it.
48. Sometimes I wish for the ease of cleaning with chemicals again because it can make things so much faster.
49. We have a house-cleaner who comes in once a week to help me with the workload around the home as I am always working during the day.
50. I buy dishwashing liquid because I canât get a recipe that works as well for cleaning dishes.
51. We waste a lot of water though I am trying to get piping (not PVC which isnât easy) installed to catch and redirect it to the gardens.
52. I donât upcycle or keep every single jar. Only some of them.
53. I find itâs cheaper and supports local growers if I buy the SPC and Goulburn Valley fruit purees for my daughter instead of the Organic pouches. I didnât know until this week that they were owned by Coca Cola Amatil.
54. I donât make all my own biscuits. I like the Vienna Biscuits (gluten free) from Macros.
55. I shop at Woolies and sometimes Coles for basics like paper towel and oils. We buy ALL our vege and fruit from a co-op group though and I am very proud of this fact.
56. I use the Preen stain remover on my carpet because I canât get the marks out of our almost white floor coverings without it.
57. We purchased new items for our renovated bathroom instead of upcycling or collecting vintage items.
58. I like Gin and Tonics.
59. We have nearly one acre of land but I havenât gotten around to growing everything we eat yet.
60. I make excuses about lack of time.
61. Sometimes I have to take Naprogesic because the cramps are so terrible I canât move without some painkillers.
62. I donât take my herbs or supplements every day. Most days, but sometimes I forget or just donât want to.
63. I still donât LOVE the taste of Stinging Nettle. Its ok but I donât LOVE it.
64. I donât have probiotics every day like I know I am supposed to.
65. I donât take my kefir every single day either.
66. Sometimes I canât buy raw or organic goats milk so I have to settle for Paulâs brand from Woolies.
67. I use stock powders which have yeast extract in them (that contain MSG) because I didnât know that yeast extract was MSG.
68. I was a smoker and sometimes find myself craving a cigarette.
69. My daughter once had all glass bottles but she broke them all so we had to go back to plastic milk bottles.
70. My daughter love Peppa Pig â I let her watch cartoons.
71. I donât know everything I should know about all the products available today for purchase and because I donât always know I make purchases I later regret that have supported bad practices.
72. We donât brew our own beer â yet.
73. We donât make our own cheese â yet
74. We donât make our own cider or wine â yet.
75. I really want to buy a Shark Vacuum because ours is just so crap but I know that because it works I need to wait to purchase the new one. And this bugs me.
76. My printer died and because I urgently had to print something for a meeting I bought another printer instead. I still havenât been able to fix mine.
77. We drive a petrol powered car instead of diesel or bio-fuel.
78. We import our cloth nappy from overseas in our business because Australian rates would mean they were totally unaffordable for us or our clients. This makes me sad.
79. We donât grow our own fish â yet.
80. We donât grow ALL our own fruit and vege â yet.
81. We bought a large green-house for our climate up here instead of making one out of old windows. Thatâs my next project.
82. We have bought wrapping paper lying around from previous Christmasâ and birthdays.
83. I buy too many gifts and wrap them in paper instead of fabric.
84. I donât always use recycled paper â greeting cards I have leftover, for example, are not recycled.
85. I havenât purchased a goat yet because I am scared that I wonât be able to take care of it. This means we have to buy all our milk.
86. My husband and I HATE the taste of goats milk. We drink cows milk.
87. I hate to admit this but not all organic products taste better than non-organic. Wines and coffees for example.
88. We take some synthetic vitamin supplements because that is all that we can find right now to use.
89. We didnât use low VOC paint on the outside of our home because they didnât have any in stock at the hardware store.
90. I want a new kitchen after our renovation â not an upcycled one.
91. We like expensive things sometimes and like to go out to nice restaurants to eat out.
92. I like to buy Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls from the local Thai place because they taste amazing. They come in a plastic wrapper.
93. I have an anti-clutter bug so I am always cleaning up and giving away or throwing things out. I try to upcycle, recycle or give to charity just about everything possible.
94. I like nice clothes and donât think my sewing is good enough to make my entire wardrobe â yet.
95. I have PVC glitter gumboots. I bought them because they were on special and I happened to be there at the shop at the time.
96. I donât keep disposable nappies at home anymore (the Naty brand or Moltex is all we use) because I get lazy.
97. I have stored some foods in plastic in my fridge and pantry.
98. I havenât got everything in matching glass jars in my pantry yet and as such things go off before I use them.
99. Whilst I have asked (almost begged!) to ensure our daughter is given totally non-toxic, non-plastic toys she has some that are quite toxic; rubber duck, stuffed animals with the petroleum based stuffing, plastic electronics. I donât give these away even though they concern me because I worry people will be upset if I do.
100. I let my daughter draw on butchers paper because if I donât she draws on our furniture instead.
So there you have it! 100 things I do that are SO NOT ECO and that I have massive guilt about.
Truth is, I feel scared quite often that somehow I will be âcaught outâ by doing one of these things and my name and reputation will be ruined. When I thought about that at 6am this morning (one of the very few mornings I was awake at that time â so not a morning person. There â thatâs 101 things!) I realised that if my reputation is so fragile that something from the list above destroys it, then I am creating a false impression of myself.
Additionally, I am TERRIFIED of being sued for mis-information because something I said didnât work well or had the opposite effect. I really just want to help people and share a little of what I know but I am constantly in fear that this desire to help will be twisted and I will be shamed for it.
I try SO hard however there are days, many days, when I falter. I admire people like Greening with Gavin and all the homesteaders I read about because they seem to be so much more committed and eco-friendly than I am.
I know people want to believe that I do everything humanly possible to be eco-friendly, but the truth is I donât. There is so much more I could be doing and so much more I want to be doing but I struggle with managing my businesses, my daughter, my degree and all the eco-friendly things I need to get done. I am sad to say that the planet sometimes has to take a back seat as I care for my family and keep the businesses running.
So, the purpose of this post is to share with you more of an insight into my life â the good, the bad and the downright eco-ugly. I really do try hard but I donât always get it right. I guess itâs fair to say that I am not perfect.
I hope that you can all understand that and forgive me if I have created a different impression of my life or how I live. I value and treasure all your support and learn so much from all of you. I am very blessed to have the opportunity to be in contact with so many amazing people.
Love to you all,
The un-Eco Mum xo
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