Can Nature Forgive (my) Human Hypocrisy?

I tend to think that by this time in my long life (73 years!), I “know what I’m doing”: successfully learning how to adjust my living to the exigencies of these critical times — downsizing, simplifying, recycling, repurposing —and where that’s not possible, then sharing my home, which dramatically reduces my energy and spatial footprint. In these ways, I see myself as politically and ecologically “correct.”

However, I’m also a recovering Catholic, for whom the habit of “confession” dies hard.

Here’s my confession for today, shown in pictures. Obviously, I have a way to go.

First, our “recycling center,” ten days in, four days from bi-weekly pick-up. Three people live here. Notice all the plastic (one large bin, and a box). Notice also, the piled up paper grocery bags. And of course, all the newsprint (the local Herald-Times, an indulgence of mine alone; the others get their news purely on the internet).


Next, the open refrigerator. Again, notice all the plastic.


Finally, the many cloth grocery bags, out on the front porch. The white thingie in front is also for groceries, one of many small cloth bags gifted to me, along with the two hefty pink and white bags, by daughter-in-law Sue.


Obviously, (given all the paper bags in the first photo above), I — or is it all three of us? — don’t always remember to take the cloth bags with me to the store. Plus, I — don’t we all? — always stick our vegetables in plastic bags at the store. It’s just “natural,” a matter of habit, there for a lifetime. Even our local co-op, Bloomingfoods, supposedly so eco-conscious, offers them. Just so convenient! Plastic bags hanging on rolls by the produce bins. Just take one for this vegetable, another for that vegetable, this fruit, that fruit, and so on. I do. Over and over, I do. I can’t even remember where the rest of the small cloth bags that Sue got for me are.

Multiply my plastic use by the billions . . .

We notice what’s happening to the oceans;



to the birds, fish, and mammals who make the ocean their home.






Plastic kills a sperm whale. Image:

So of course, I’m excited when I see the following:

Plastic-Eating Fungus —and it could save the planet

I search for more, please, anything to assuage my guilt. Aha! Here’s a really good one!

Six Ways Nature Cleans Up Our Messes Better than We Do

And then, thank the goddess!, we have Paul Stamets, who has been talking about fungi and their miraculous cleansing ways for a long time.

Could Mushrooms Be The Savior To The World’s Radiation & Petroleum Footprint? Listen To This Remarkable Lecture

So can I just relax, let Nature do the job of cleaning up after me?

NO. Whatever I can do to erase not only my plastic imprint, but my hypocrisy imprint is necessary, if I want to live with myself in good conscience.

And I do.

I want to learn live as Nature does, in complex, mysterious, multidimensional, symbiotic exchange. Nothing left over, no waste.




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0 Responses to Can Nature Forgive (my) Human Hypocrisy?

  1. mary says:

    great eye opener; i will do my own self-critique too – plastic wrap & ‘baggies’ are my stupid hangups – even though i try & reuse my sandwich bags multiple times…there are better options, just need to begin now to use them!

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