It’s official. Lately I’ve become an environmental slacker. Yes, I still compost, recycle, cloth diaper, and shop secondhand. Yes, I get a certain thrill out of using cloth grocery bags and buying in bulk. But lately I’ve committed some eco-transgressions that I feel I must acknowledge as Earth Day looms.  It isn’t quite like I’ve taken a match to the planet, (as the dramatic photo would suggest) but it doesn’t feel great to share my shortcomings.  Here goes…

My sin:
We remodeled our kitchen. In a way this seems like a good thing–but it also means that we ate lukewarm microwaved dinners off of paper plates for a few weeks. (Chinet, of course, because they’re 100% recycled!) We tried to salvage what we could of our old kitchen, but most of our built-in cabinets had to go to wood recycling. There are some heaps of stuff in the landfill that we recently added. (Ugh!)

My justification:
Our house is a thousand square feet, which is plenty of room most of the time, but we felt cramped in our old kitchen.  It hadn’t been remodeled since the house was built 51 years ago and it lacked counter space and a dishwasher. Our new kitchen is very neutral and we hope that it will last just as long. (Can you believe the average kitchen remodel happens every seven years?!) Now we have an energy star dishwasher and fridge, lots more functional space, and many more years of being able to leave a smaller carbon footprint because of the size of our home. Also, I LOVE cooking now!

My sin:
Our daughter has eaten lots of jarred baby food. We chose Earth’s Best Organic, but I really wanted to blend up homemade batches.

My justification:
My husband, who’s a stay-at-home Dad, is not overly excited about boiling and pureeing yams.  Also, during the kitchen remodel it was all we could do to get food in her mouth while washing our dishes in the tub. The good news is that now she’s eating table food and we’re done with purees!

My sin:
My children are both wearing disposable diapers at night. This is probably the most atrocious thing on my list, and it makes me feel sick that we haven’t figured out how to use cloth at night for both of them. We had some luck with Jovi in cloth, but then found she woke up more frequently.  We were too desperate for sleep to continue. Roscoe struggled with horrid yeast infections that kept recurring, so we gave up with him too.  In this picture he despairs that his mother hasn’t found an eco-friendly method of diapering him…

My justification:
My only hope is to night-train my son soon! He has been potty trained for over a year, but we have been so tired that we haven’t made a concerted effort to get him out of diapers at night. Please send me any and all advice! Maybe I’ll try cloth again with Jovi and see if she’ll sleep through the night in them. It would make me so happy to be free of disposables altogether!

Do you have transgressions to share?  Do tell!  It relieves all of us to know that we’re focused on progress instead of perfection.