The Top 8 Eco Sins We’re Totally Guilty Of

Nov 28

It might seem counter-intuitive that an eco-living outlet like Klee Life is writing about our eco failures, but if anything, we know that it’s hard to be green. It takes trying (and failing) at certain lifestyle choices to understand what’s right for you. And some of them are downright funny, so in the spirit of sharing, here’s the eco sins we’ve committed (recently).

The soul-crushing plastic cup

Either we let our guard down or came unprepared, but we’re still thirsty—really thirsty—and the only option comes in a non-compostable plastic cup. So here come those delicious, sinful sips that are totally refreshing and metaphorically hard to swallow. Will that cup outlive our children?

Wood stains

A little esoteric, but if you’re into DIY home improvement, you’ve probably come face-to-face with the wood stain aisle of the hardware store. It’s a tragedy of VOCs and it seems the better performance the product offers, the worse it is for the environment. We’ve restricted ourselves to a limited use of marine-grade polyurethane when absolutely necessary and opted in for naturally derived stains like shellac for an eco-safe finish.

Fast fashion

Every once in a while, we simply NEED that hot new print or cut, and since we can’t afford runway prices (who can?), we hit up the fast fashion stores. Some fast-fashion giants, like H&M, have created sustainable mini-lines using eco-positive fabrics and manufacturing practices. We love that and are happy to support that with our dollars. Wouldn’t it be great if the entire fashion industry followed suit? Nudge, nudge…

Shoe protector

OK, so this one is tough. One the one hand, we’re preserving our footwear so that it lasts longer, meaning we’re consuming less which is always eco-positive. One the other hand, shoe protector emits fumes which are not good, and the manufacturing of the product has a looooong way to go till green. It’s an ongoing dilemma.

Plastic produce bags

Picture yourself in front of the produce, carefully examining the lettuce. You hear that weird burping noise followed by shower of water and your perfect lettuce is now perfectly drenched. Wet produce makes a terrible mess of your cart and bags, and just inches away are those those evil plastic produce bags. Sometimes we cave and use them, and other times we suffer soggy groceries. We have started bringing our own non-plastic reusable produce bags because it seems like we always hit the produce aisle when it’s shower time.

Buying non-organic

We try to buy organic as much as possible, but sometimes there isn’t an organic option or it just costs too damn much that day. A tight budget is real, and we try not to be too hard on ourselves when we have to buy conventional produce and other groceries. Doing our part means giving what we can each day. Some days our contributions are a little lighter, and that’s OK. We’ll be back tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Gas for the car

We wish we would have jumped on the hybrid train, but we simply couldn’t afford it when we bought our last vehicle. We opted for a smaller, fuel efficient sports wagon, and every time we pull up to the gas pump, we feel guilt and anxiety for using a fossil fuel. It’s hard. We do our best to walk and use public transportation as much as possible, and that does make a difference. We need better options!

Aspirational recycling

Ever toss a plastic takeout container in the recycling bin feeling like you did the right thing? Same. Turns out, that doesn’t get recycled for a few reasons: you need to rinse it first and/or that type of plastic isn’t recyclable at your local facilities. It’s not just plastic containers that get tossed in the recycle bin and never get recycled either. We’ve thrown a lot of packing peanuts, plastic wrap and pizza boxes into the bin over the years that definitely didn’t make the cut. Worse yet, some of the stuff we’ve throw in ends up clogging the system or contaminating a load. Who knew? Now that we do, though, we’re much more careful about what we put in there. Be sure to check your area’s recycling guidelines, so you know what can be recycled and what you need to do to ensure it can be recycled efficiently.

There you have it. The little-BIG list of eco-sins that weighs heavily on our hearts and minds. What about you? Is there something you consume that you wish was healthier for the planet? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

We’re doing our best here in purgatory.

Klee Life