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September 18, 2009

What's your biggest eco sin?


Kim Walker here with another guest post:

 I wrote earlier today about being initially hesitant about switching to a low flow showerhead. Water (over)usage is my biggest eco sin. And every time I soak in a hot bath after a long day at work, I swear it'll be my last.

We all try to lessen our footprint, but everyone has a weakness or two. (Except for B'More Green blogger Meredith, who takes home her work junk mail so she can recycle it.) Are you a paper towel junkie? Do you love your SUV? Share your biggest eco sin in the comments by 5 p.m. Monday (Sept. 21) for a chance to win a prize. One commenter will receive an ecotools pampering kit with bamboo nail brush and lotion and cream that are 98 percent from nature. (I know, I know, a green blog shouldn't be rewarding bad behavior, but perhaps confessing your sins is the first step to reform.)

Baltimore Sun file photo of a bathtub that I wish was mine.

Posted by Kim Walker at 12:00 PM | | Comments (71)
Categories: Going Green


My 2006 Pontiac Torrent.
Its a gas eater.
We try hard to drive our more fuel efficient car whenever we can, and our next car will have to get over 30mpg to find a home in my garage.

This is an easy question for me because I am committed to reducing my carbon footprint -- except for one thing. I recycle pretty much everything, I walk to work and otherwise drive a small, fuel efficient car. I own energy efficient appliances. I conserve water, paper, etc., etc. But in the middle of a hot Baltimore summer, I confess, I keep my air conditioner cranking!

Eating too much food that has to be transported thousands of miles.

I have two huge ones. First is recycling. I get all cought up in the propaganda of is and actually do it when I know that the need to have seperate sorters, all of those seperate cans, and the subsidization of the process actually, on balance, is environmentally detrimental.

The other is actually thinking that this cap and trade thing work as well and mandating renewable energy sources would work. I mean, logic and hitory tells me that the best way to promote green outcomes is to ensure economic properity so that we have the means to choose greener options. Globally, almost without exception, it is the rich countries that have the luxury to choose green over survival.

are you saying your sins are recycling and using renewable energy? I got them impression we were coming clean here.

mine are air conditining, buying tropical (non-native plants) for my garden, driving \(not owning a bike), and using a dryer. No doubt there are many more!

Buying nonnative fruits and vegetables. I just can't give up mangos, limes and lemons!

You will pry my incandescent lightbulbs out of my cold, dead fingers. Fluorescent bulbs suck out your soul.

I feel guilty every time I use the disposal. Somehow, my husband and I cannot finish a head of lettuce or a bunch of bananas before they go bad. We have a rotating composter in our tiny yard, but it makes way more compost than we can use.

My biggest sin is choking people who continually talk about "going green."

bananas (and a six-cylinder car)

Stop eating, and you'll stop breathing, that's a great way to reduce your carbon have we become. Ask Al Gore and Obummer when they're gonna stop flying there carbon emitting planes all over the world, I can tell you that I'm sorry, I'm having trouble typing this message because I can't stop laughing at you people.. Seriously now...WALKING TO WORK!!! That's too funny. 30 years ago I thought we were all going to freeze to death. Now, we're all gonna burn up because "the earth has a fever" LOLOLOL!!!! ROTFLMAO!!!

Changing my oil over a storm drain...what can I say I was young

I open plastic water bottles, take one drink and throw it away. I don't like the taste after one drink.

Yeah, Jeff!

My first car was a 1966 Chevy Caprice with a 327 V-8 engine and a four-barrel carburetor. When it was running, you could smell the unburnt gasoline. I love that smell. And someday, I'm going to buy another old car and fix it up so I can take it out for Sunday drives and smell that smell again.

To those who think that eating non-local foods is a major sin, I wonder how many miles per day they drive our how big their house (that must be heated and cooled is).

Most of us live in enormous, energy wasting homes. That's the biggest sin for nearly all of us.

Really long, hot showers. I shower until my whole body gets prune-like. I shower until there is no hot water left in the house. What can I say? I love being clean, even if it means not being green.

West coast beer. Sierra Nevada, Stone, Oskar Blues (at least they can it), Lagunitas, Bear Republic, etc. I can't get enough of it. I know there are great local brews (and I drink a lot of Flying Dog, Brewers Art and DuClaws), but the west coasters are calling my name too.

My 1988 GMC Sierra Truck.

I recycle everything, take showers, use half-sheet paper towels. But that truck belonged to my Dad and then my late husband. The extra gas is worth keeping me close to two guys I really miss.

My car, in addition to getting mediocre mpg, burns oil when it's started up. A blue cloud of smoke wafts up into the atmosphere every time. But a new engine would cost 10 grand! I just can't afford to be green!

While I recycle, grow my own vegetables, combine trips for errands, etc. I do not really agonize over my "carbon footprint." I am on this earth and need to eat, bathe, launder my clothes, clean my house, etc.

It probably was the time we rented a Hummer for a bachelor party. We cruised down to the beach on a beer and cocaine binge. Razors and glass bottles littered the roadside, as well as a few critters, probably racoons. When we got to the beach, I teabagged a beached whale in the blow hole while my friend started a bon fire from all of the McDonalds trash in the car. Obviously, peeing in the ocean is of no consequence but we should have just called it a day when the sun came up. Backing out of the parking lot, we hit a prius or a smart car (I forget). In a panic we just shoved the little tyke off the pier as it was sitting just adjacent to the water.

I have a zillion reusable grocery bags that were bought to reduce the number of plastic bags I bring home, but I can never seem to remember to bring them into the store.

My biggest eco-sin is flushing the toilet. I know I should let ATLEAST a weeks worth of poop and pee stew in there before I flush, but sometimes I flush after each use anyways.

Please forgive me! I'm such a FREAK!

I bathe in crude oil every evening. I then like to cook up about 6 whole chickens, eat one, and throw the rest away.

We don't use the Baltimore Sun ecoblog printout as toilet paper often enough.

I'm really heat-sensitive so I love to crank up my air conditioner at night. Also, Clorox disposable wipes. Not good for the environment but oh-so-handy for wiping up stuff in the kitchen and bathroom.

biggest green sin: reading this waste of computer-monitor-electricity called a "blog".

I like to eat Mexican food. As you might expect, all those spicy bean, cheese and greasy meat meals end up causing environmental catastrophes in my toilet. I try to hold it in when there is a heavy rain event to prevent Bay pollution, but I'm no camel. Sometimes I just gotta go--even if it means causing a massive fish kill!

I hope all you "eco-idiots" are having fun trying to save the planet. I drive a big SUV that gets about 10 MPG, I try and let it idle as much as possible, and I turn on extra unnecessary lights at home just to make sure I cancel out any stupid tricks you try.

I subscribe to the Baltimore Sun instead of reading my news online. I think I will cancel today.

I lecture people about driving SUVs while living in a house that is over 30,000 sq feet.

I buy products that have non-recylable styrofoam and plastic rather than doing without. Of the 32 gallons of trash that gets picked up weekly, the overwhelming majority of it is packaging. Food stuff goes to compost. That's a lot of trash that won't go away.

Me? I do not commit any of your silly "eco-sins" because there's no such thing.

I use any and everything (and will continue to do so) whatever I want, as much as I want, and whenever I want.

And you can stick your silly "carbon footprint" garbage where the sun don't shine...

It's difficult for me to confess to this, but it's something I've done all my life. I grew up this way. My parents did it. My grandparents, too, going back -- oh, I don't know how many generations. We never thought about it, but all the while we were -- (Sob!) exhaling CARBON DIOXIDE! Oh, the shame! I can't even say I feel better for getting it off my chest. My evil, Gaia-raping chest that contains my wicked, CO2-oozing lungs! I'm going to go practice holding my breath now.

My biggest eco sin is:

Voting republican while eating a double quarter pounder with cheese and having it served in the old school styrofoam container while wiping my bottom with pages from "earth in the balance," and having separate browser windows for ordering a small fleet of Hummer H2's and booking flights to indonesia to hunt rare and exotic species while the air conditioner is turned down to 59 degrees, and every light is on in the house while my 5 lcd tvs show different college games and oh yeah i forgot to compost.

I once stalked a polar bear for three days and nights across the arctic wilderness. When I finally cornered and shot it I took it's skull for a hat and it's hide for a pair of mittens

We don't have hot water from the tap at work. So every time I want to wash my hands or lunch dishes and actually want them to be sanitary, I take a STYROFOAM CUP and some hot water from the teapot and pour it over my hands/dishes.

Well mine are eating anything I want, driving where ever I want and not giving a rats but about any of this nonsense. Wait those aren't sins there just living without caring how a bunch of crybaby, whiny control freaks want me to live.

I peed on a tree hugger after I cut down the forest they were living in.. Then I got into my non-exhausted gas guzzling Caterpillar cut a track for my 4 stroke 4 wheelers, so that I can find the bambi when shooting season starts.. When we got back we all got into my 2008 3500 4 Door Dually 4x4 (4mpg) and rooted up the back 40 .. AH FREEDOM... Can't you smell that gas burning???

My biggest sin is that I have not taken the time to beat the crap out of more greentards like you that constantly talk about greentards.

Eating beef, a substance which is associated which more excess carbon generation per ounce than any other food product on supermarket shelves. Thus, I am switching to kitten steaks, which are associated with a very low carbon footprint (primarily because kittens require very little feeding during their short, furry existence). Moreover, common household-variety kittens are derived from several species which are non-indigenous to the continental United States; hence, I'll also be protecting numerous indigenous competitive species, such as the noble North American Bobcat. Hurrah!

I bought a print version of The Sun. What a waste of trees! I am embarrassed!

I burn plastic bottles just to watch the black smoke rise into the ether. Use paper towels for everything, even drying off from a 1/2 hr shower or 10 minute bath. Dump my company PCB filled transformers and capacitors into the pond out back for $5.00 each. Saves them money and makes me a buck or two.

NewsBusters: Confess Your Biggest 'Eco Sin' to the Baltimore Sun, Win a Green Prize

i found that by going number two in my neighbors yard, saves me money on water. They have dogs, so not sure they even notice. Now I also have my wife and neighbors doing the same, so we all save water and soon the planet. If everyone would just do this in their yard and neighbors yard, just think of the possibilities.

My eco-sin is wasting energy answering this question. While we have pollution regs. and debate cap and trade, China builds a coal power plant a week, exempt from any pollution control requirements. (Not to mention the lead paint they put on your kids toys) How about some enforcement of our environmental laws? ... and requiring our trading partners to do the same?

As a polar bear and member of the clergy, I applaud your efforts to encourage the confession of eco-sins.

It's not clear whether worrying about personal transgressions actually reins them in. Carbon emissions are escalating at such a rate that we have a much bigger problem now. In my opinion, people need look beyond their own individual behaviors, and challenge this larger trend that threatens massive habitat loss and environmental destruction.
Admitting our own weaknesses can be a first step toward greater planetary awareness, but only if we resolve to do much better.

My biggest eco sin is buying a publication that is made from harvested Canadian timber that is rolled into paper in a process that pollutes water, and then shipped across the continent to Baltimore where it is covered with toxic inks and then it is distributed by gas-guzzling trucks to gas guzzling cars. If I win, please keep my prize

My biggest eco-sin is the carbon footprint I help create when I listen to all the global-warming evangelists. Get a life, please.

My biggest eco sin is holding celebratory tire fires in honor of earth day (or as I like to call it: "dirt day") and in honor of all the wacko protestors here in Pittsburgh for the G20.

The "sin" part of that? Not enough tires. Need more tires.

I don't recycle at my house. ANYTHING.

I leave the water running when I brush my teeth. I live in South Carolina AND have all of my teeth. I brush for a loooong time.

According to the bible neither me, my light bulbs, my SUV or how long a shower I take will destroy the earth. God himself will destroy the earth on his time table not ours.

Not using this paper to line my bird cage.

My biggest eco-sin was not using enough gasoline when I lit that giant pile of brush on my ranch.

You people are nuts.

And I say that in a nice, eco-friendly way.


I think the biggest sin of all is peddling the whole manmade global warming hoax. Convincing people to be guilty about their "carbon footprint" and to jump through all sorts of hoops (and buy things that cost more but work less efficiently) in order to reduce it is one very slick scam. One day you all are going to wake up and realize just how deeply you've been had.

I confess, I have 4 children. I assume that's already the biggest sin an eco destroyer could have? I use Pampers and Huggies on the baby, then carelessly throw them into a landfill. Then I rub my hands together and laugh with glee.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to confess my sin before I get into my 8 seat SUV by myself, roll down the windows, turn on the air conditioning, and spray two cans of hairspray out the window. I apologize in advance.

I use the dividends from my Cheveron stock to buy styro-foam plates and cups. Washing dishes sucks. So do hippies who think its a "sin" to use energy. If its a "sin", then unplug your computer and kill yourselves, because you're "sinning" right now by using electricity to read this.

I drive an SUV, but that is not the bad part.

I have a sticker on the back that says:

"HydroCarbon Powered Eco-Vehicle"

and it is not a lie.

I have had impure thoughts about Al Gore.

I work on and restore a '59 Ford Galaxy with 390 big block. Gets 6 MPG on the hwy.

The only thing it cannot pass is a gas station.

I actually use a new tea bag every time I have a cup of tea. I know - that is shocking!

Oh and I keep about 6 computers running all the time at home to keep the house warm and I cut down trees for fun.

Not getting my electricity from nuclear power.

I don't sin at all. I flush once a week, don't use soap or water, then just rub my hands on the lawn, which is handy compost for the yard, too. During my daily walk to work, I lick the dew off plants when I'm thirsty, or if it's been raining, drink out of puddles. Also, if it is raining on that said walk, I don't use a Gaia-destroying umbrella, but instead go nude, which doubles up as a planet-saving eco-shower.

When people look back at our age a centruy from now they will see the biggest threat to the environment is environmentalists. Knowing that, I still can't bring myself to make environmentaalists an endangered species even though I would promise faithfully to sequester their carbon.

I have four old cars registered that I share my daily driving amongst!

I always bring my dead flashlight batteries to the nearest recycling center.

And by "recycling center", I mean I toss them into the nearest snowbank.

I only have incandescent globes in the house. I bought up a truck load to last me decades since they're now banned in Australia.

My biggest eco sin is to think Al Gore is a lying shyster who is taking people for all he can get.

I cannot believe the number of comments on this blog mocking this very serious topic. Do we all really think it is so funny that we are polluting our environment so severely? Global warming may or may not be a "hoax" (I doubt it), but this has nothing to do with the amount of toxic substances our wasteful and shameless society is pumping into the environment. Landfills are breeding grounds for arsenic, lead, and many other toxic or carginogenic chemicals. Our groundwater supplies are slowly filling up with these chemicals and other fun items like prescription drugs and bpas. Laugh all you want about how stupid the greenies are, but you are sentencing your grandchildren to a life without so many of the small gifts of nature you take for granted. The ignorance revealed here is the biggest eco-sin of all.

OK, for me it's the paper towels. I feel guilty but everytime I make a real effort to cut down or find alternatives I just resume my old ways. The bulk of the paper towel consumption here involves daily pet care. Not using paper towels would greatly increase washer/detergent usage though not dryer usage as they are easily line dried. Still, just keep using the paper towels....

Thanks for the laughs, everyone who burns the tires and pees on the treehuggers and isn't falling for the be green line. My hat's off to you.

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About the bloggers
Tim WheelerTim Wheeler reports on the environment and Chesapeake Bay. A native of West Virginia, he has focused mainly on Maryland's environment since moving here in 1983. Along the way, he's crewed aboard a skipjack in the bay, canoed under city streets up the Jones Fall from the Inner Harbor, and gone deep underground in a western Maryland coal mine. He loves seafood, rambles in the country and good stories. He hopes to share some here.

Contributor Christy Zuccarini has been blogging about the local DIY craft scene for a year for She brings her pespective on all things handmade to B'More Green, where she will highlight projects you can do yourself as well as crafters who are integrating sustainable methods and materials.

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