Greenies Feel Guilty

We don’t want to harm Mother Nature so we strive to live a more sustainable life, but does going green make us also feel guilty? According to a recent New York Times article, Going Green, but Still Feeling Guilty, many of the folks we might admire for being on the forefront of the green world, may not be the super eco-conscious greenies we thought they were. Does living a green lifestyle come with an ample amount of guilt?

True Green Confessions:

The Lazy Environmentalist, Josh Dorfman admits to being addicted to using disposable diapers:

“We tried cloth and think it’s totally unrealistic”…Like the rest of America, he said, they have gravitated toward disposable diapers “and that’s really environmentally sinful. It’s plastic derived from petroleum. You use them once and then they get tossed in a landfill. It’s a terribly inefficient use of natural resources…Not only do I feel guilt, I feel hypocritical.”

Environmental lifestyle expert, author and eco-crafter, Danny Seo feels guilty about his carbon footprint because he owns two houses that he redecorates all the time, rents SUV’s to haul around his props, and uses toxic glue in craft projects:

“I’m a very guilty person…I have to make a lot of stuff, and a lot of the glues and spray paints that we are using are not so eco. The way I justify it is that I am putting together trash to make something new. One of the glues I’m using is so toxic, but it works great.”

Seventh Generation’s Jeffrey Hollender, is a gadget geek and claims to buy too much stuff:

“A friend of mine challenged me to go for 30 days without buying anything new. I said, ‘That’s a great challenge, I’ll take you on. But I’m going to start next month, because the new MacBook Air is coming out.’ Then next month, for the iPhone, and I realized I just endlessly put off making the commitment because consumption had become such a part of my life.”

Founder of the firm Organic Architect, and author of Green Building and Remodeling for Dummies, Eric Corey Freed is often consulted on green building projects and advocates putting water saving devices into your home, yet he’s not giving up his swimming pool:

“You’re going crazy over wasting clean water in the toilet,” it was pointed out to him (Eric Corey Freed). “How can you justify having a pool?…I don’t justify it…”

Are these true confessions a problem with practicing what we preach, fanaticism vs. moderation, or just the reality of the times? Should guilt be a motivator in going green? Are you in conflict with Mother Nature?


Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Dave C.
David C5 years ago

....I have worked hard to realize that I can't do it all by myself.....all each of us can do is our best and thats what I try...

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago


Bon L.
Bon L6 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Onyx Wolf
N E6 years ago

At least some people realize they should feel guilty. What about the rest of the population that flat out doesn't care?
Do your best, that's all that can be asked of anyone. No one can be 100% guilt free, but if you have done what you can, then sleep better at night knowing you've built up some good karma.

Annemarie W.
Annemarie L7 years ago

At least we are conscious of these things... I know so many people who don't even realize how wasteful they are.

Nicole C.
Past Member 7 years ago

I feel guilty about some of my purchases when I can not find an eco-alternative. The guilt helps people stay in check in my opinion.

Linda J.
Linda J7 years ago

Thanks for article.

Allen B.
Allen Balwinski7 years ago

In my world, we say things like "Be as Green as you can be" and "Any shade of Green is better than No Green". People don't want to feel guilty. They want to feel good about what they DO do and put the other stuff on the TO DO list. Our community (Bangor Township, Bay City, MI) has a Green Team and their objective is educating people and seeing where it leads. If you make people feel like they're not doing enough, because they're not doing EVERYTHING, then there is the chance of turning them off of Green. Let them know that something is better than nothing, and they listen, share, and communicate ideas!

Karena M.
Doreen Gonzales7 years ago

I am doing my level best to go green: only run errands 2x each week; bail laundry water for dish rinsing, car washing & toilet flushing; line dry the laundry; shop thrift stores before regular retail; use only natural fibers for carpet, upholstery, & clothing; compost food waste; repair, re-use, re-purpose furnishings & fixtures; recycle paper, glass, metals & plastics; use yard waste mulch as weed retardant & evaporation prevention; grow my own veggies, etc. My guests praise my efforts & then don't honor the process, one actually told me he thought I was joking ! ! !