How We’re Unsustainable

The Truth Revealed! We’ve got a long way to go.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our journey of improving the world and our lifestyle, that we forget how it can hurt others to feel “not sustainable enough”.  So here’s a tribute to all the ways we screw it up!  Nothing to be proud of, certainly, but something to remind us that the ones who look the most uneducated about sustainability, or who seem to be doing such harm, might actually agree with living sustainably but haven’t expressed it yet.

You could call this our “blooper” reel I guess. Here are some guilty confessions:

  1. Snoopy Made Me Do It

    We buy Pizza Hut! Yes we do. And usually once a year on roadtrips we stop into McDonald’s and enjoy a vegetarian-style “fry burger” Happy Meal and play with the toys.

  2. Dairy Indulgences. Occasionally, we indulge in non-organic dairy products in large quantities, such as Maggie Moo’s, Noodles, and Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese.
  3. Frozen Food Waste. We purchase frozen food packaging that can’t be recycled (we do use these as poop scoop bags for cat litter) such as Quorn products, Mrs. T’s Pierogies, and frozen veggies.
  4. Yesterday I bought a totally un-green Peanuts 2012 Planner because it was teal and had Snoopy on it.
  5. Meat. Once, I cheated and ate chicken masala at an Indian Buffet (even though I’m vegetarian) because I love Indian food. I threw up afterwards…so no more of that.
  6. Ryan got a credit card to buy stuff at, which is bad for workers and local business owners too.
  7. At a craft fair, I bought hair feathers even though I was pretty sure they were bad for animal welfare, dyed unsustainably, and degrading to indigenous cultures, and then danced around the living room to Bollywood tunes and Celtic music.

What’s the most un-sustainable thing you do?

C’mon, it feels good to share and acknowledge that we’re not perfect. It’s also the first step in changing something you don’t like about yourself.

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I’m so glad you wrote this article. People need to know that just because a person claims to be sustainable-minded, or vegetarian, or vegan, or “green” that doesn’t mean that person is claiming to be the model of perfection or even sees themselves as perfect nor does it mean that they look down upon or judge people who do not share their particular views or lifestyle. I’ve come across so many people that automatically feel that I am judging them or am offended by them because I hold a different view about food, sustainability, or even religion than they do.… Read more »


It’s true – we’ve all got a long way to go – but I think the first step to sustainability is recognizing the problem exists, it’s tangible, and it’s personal. My problem is transportation – I love cars, always have, and I totally want a motorcycle for reasons that have zilch to do with the comparison of their carbon footprint to my current ride. I’m considering replacing my beloved old van – you remember, the old beater that delayed our departure for Missouri a couple of years back??? Then ended up in the shop because I never put antifreeze in… Read more »


Thanks so much for commenting! It’s a pleasure to have engaged readers. Thanks for sharing this journey with us! Now Ryan & I have an opposite transportation problem – we sold the car and switched to bikes, buses, and feet, and now have some money to buy land…except no ride to get out to tour various properties for sale, not to mention: how will we get there once we buy it?? So it’s a good problem to have, being so sustainable in the transportation department that it leads to these problems, but eventually we’ll need a solution too.

Jessica Steed

1. I also buy some frozen foods and bread in packages that I can’t recycle, not to mention all the bottle caps that I don’t know what to do with. 2. I still shop at Wal-mart for cat food because I havent found anywhere else that sells their brand and I don’t want to switch. 3. I still drive a car and way more than I should. 4. I ate some chicken 2 hours ago at a birthday party because I was hungry and I liked it. Btw, do you live in Fayetteville? I can maybe help you out with… Read more »


Thanks for sharing Jessica! Before I stopped being able to digest it, chicken was my #1 cheat as a vegetarian. Yes we live in Fayetteville AR. Rides would be terrific, especially during bulk purchases from Ozark Natural Foods, or to tour properties for sale within 30 min – 1 hour away from Fayetteville. We can pay for gas, of course. Our email is:

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