Hand over mouth, eyes searching to make sure no one unsafe is within ear shot, she leans toward us conspiratorially. And then she makes a wild confession. My reaction is one of relief. Phew! I’m not the only one.
“Sometimes I run my dishwasher when it’s only half full!” She looks like the admission might result in her being struck dead by a bolt of lightning.
As is often the case, one admission leads to another. Here we were, a group of smart, environmentally conscious and generally aware moms admitting our deepest darkest environmental sins.
“I use plastic bags in my trash can.”
“I drive around with plastic bags in my car, hoping to come across a grocery store that still recycles them. I finally lose it and throw them in the trash.”
“I use non-biodegradable bags to pick up dog poop.”
“I use Ziplock bags and then throw them away instead of reusing them.”
As we stand talking, I diagnose this as a not-yet-recognized syndrome: eco-guilt.
Living in Boulder, CO
It doesn’t help that I live in Boulder, CO, one of the Green Capitals of the US. Don’t get me wrong–I’m proud of my community where there are tons of year-round bike commuters (even in the snow!), public transportation, curbside recycling and composting, lots of green buildings, a Prius on every block, abundant solar panels, and an overall commitment to doing right by this earth of ours.