I sometimes drink bottled water instead of tap.
I sometimes eat fast food.
I use a plastic throwaway straw once a week or so.
I occasionally buy bags of chips, or plastic-wrapped candies.
Once in a while, I toss something I could've recycled.
I've been known to lose litter & not retrieve it.
I've bought "cheaper" instead of "more eco."
I fly in airplanes long distance for fun.
I drove an oil-dripping muscle car.
I then drove an oil-dripping rust-bucket V8 pickup truck.
I then drove a 4-wheel-drive SUV.
I shun our local public transporation because it's inconvenient.
I sometimes judge people who pollute more than I do.
I sometimes judge people who pollute less than I do.
Now and then, what I crave most of all is an ice-cold Coke.
The past couple of years for me has been a slow wake-up. A chance to realize that there is such a thing as sustainable, sensitive living. That it matters -- that it's imperative. I realize now the level of damage that comes with some of the choices & options of modern life. Both to my generation and to the next. I see it, and pick it up, every week. Washed in, left behind. I admire the people who bend over backwards to put a full stop to it in their lives. I read their blogs, and nod in appreciation.
Still, I also recognize that my world is one of baby steps. I find a new way to consume less here. Waste less there. Reuse here, recycle there. I pick up more of what I see, which helps me see more to pick up.
But I've never been the one to make the grand gesture, the bold pledge, the cold-turkey quit. That, I leave to others.
I take pride in the choices I make now compared to a few years ago. But as I write on the ills of waste & thoughtlessness, I do so with a sense of my own limits. With the humility that, for all my talk and efforts, I too have been -- and continue to be -- part of a mainstream culture that most highly values the impulse of the moment over all else.