Four unsustainable things I wish I wasn’t addicted to


I try my best to a good earthly citizen, and with every month that pneeeuows past, I step further down the clean living, simple, eco-friendly path. But there are some things I am just not yet ready to give up. These are my unsustainable, earth-destroying dirty habits, and I’d like to share them with you.

Tinned tomatoes
Even if I do mange to source tinned tomatoes in BPA-free tins, the fact is that just about every tin of tomatoes I buy has come from Bella Italia. Which is a friggen long way away. If petrol prices jumped up tomorrow and world trade ground to a halt the thing I would be most upset about is not having a tin of toms in my pantry. I keep telling myself that one day I will be a green thumb with abundant tomatoes in the backyard. Then I’ll start canning them myself and bottling passata with the neighbours. Promise.

Shampoo and conditioner
When I read Trica’s post about going “No Poo” on Little Eco Footprints, I hung my head in shame. My hair is my one vanity and shampoo and conditioner were my last personal care products to go natural. Truth be told, I’ve not yet found natural versions that work as well as the silicone-laden, pthalate-infused products you see on TV so my hair is generally pretty gross these days. It’s inevitable that sometime soon I am going to run out of shampoo and conditioner and not replace it. I know that going “No Poo” is the answer, but I’m scared about the six weeks (at least) of Soul Glow hair and itchy scalp I will have to endure.

Cheap fuel
I generally only put half a tank of fuel in my car and that makes me stingy, which is good. If there’s less than half a tank on the gauge, I am more inclined to hop on my bike or grab the dog and head out on foot for quick trips to the shops or to pick up the kids. But when my hubby is flush with cash, he’ll give me a wink and say “fill her up baby”, and I go all Tiger Woods and can’t resist a quickie here, there and everywhere. Part of me wants to be cut off because I know that cheap fuel will not be around for much longer and I need to get used to it. But the evil bird on my shoulder says, “just drive you crazy fool, everyone else does”.

Long, hot showers
I may have mentioned once or twice that I have a weakness for lengthy, scalding showers. To the point that I will purposely skip a shower some days so I can have more than the allowable four minutes the next. In addition to wasting water and energy (yes, even though we have solar hot water), long, hot showers do terrible things to your skin. Maybe when I  give up shampoo I can quit my addictive ablutions too.

Do you have any unsustainable habits you just can’t quit? Do share – make me feel better!

photo credit: sanberdoo via photopin cc


  1. Jan (A gluttonous wife) says

    Ah Jo you are only human!!!
    I definitely haven’t gone ‘no poo’ my peroxide blonde hair needs all the help it can get!!
    I’m admitting to owning too many plastic containers, actually they are overflowing. There are many other things but I’m gradually trying to reduce the amount little by little!!
    Thanks for another great post
    Warm regards

    • (dt)em says

      Argh, plastic containers are taking over my life. I haven’t bought one in years, but I swear they multiply, break up with their lids and go on a Gap year in the bottom drawers. Edith loves nothing more that filling them up and carting them round, so they’re in the bath, in her room, my cupboard – everywhere!

  2. Cath says

    Mine is tissues. I love that I’m throwing those nasty pasty germs away, and that they’re not floating around my washing machine ready to strike at a moment’s notice. I only wash in cold water, so they’d be haunting me forever. Germs begone!

    And I try to convince myself the Body Shop Shampoo and Conditioner is OK really! Much better than Day 2 (or 42) hair!
    Cath recently posted..Should we be striving for work/life balance?My Profile

    • (dt)em says

      I wish The Body Shop would disclose its “fragrance” ingredient- that’s what turned me off as fragrance or parfum can be a blend of pthalates and other nasties. I get the tissue thing, but surely sunlight kills the germs? I do hope so… I do one hot wash that contains all my kitchen cloths, dishcloths, tea towels and the odd snotty hanky! Do you have compost? You know you can compost tissues?

  3. Bek @ Just For Daisy says

    Oh I love my tinned tomatoes too!!
    The microwave is one I’d love to get rid of and we now only using it for reheating food and cooking popcorn kernals in paper bags! ;) But I’d really love it to go!
    How often do you wash your hair?? I probably wash mine once a week or sometimes less!! Shock horror! And it holds up really well, maybe I’d be okay to go no poo without too much craziness!?!?!
    AND I’m a shower carry over too!! Miss one day, double the next! We only have long showers when it’s raining!! We’re on tank water here so it’s even more precious to us because we literally watch it go down!
    Bek @ Just For Daisy recently posted..Spring Blog Hop – Flower Press Craft – Flower Fairy CardsMy Profile

    • (dt)em says

      We kind of don’t have a microwave… there is one downstairs in my mum’s granny flat, but I probably only use it once every month and only in emergencies (usually involving the frozen dog food we buy!). I reheat all my food on the stove top – low heat, little sprinkle of water, lid and whammo. And it’s so easy to make popcorn on the stove, altho you do have to use oil…
      I have to wash my hair every other day at the moment, it’s gross. I am seriously thinking of going no poo right now.
      Love a long shower when it’s raining! they’re the best! x

  4. Mother Down Under says

    Oh yes…tinned tomatoes and long, scalding showers!
    I agree that most natural shampoos don’t cut the mustard but I have been using “Organic Care” that I buy from Woolies for about $3.00 a bottle and it is great. It is not organic…love that you can name something organic that is not at all organic…and it is not totally natural but it is better than most commercial shampoos. As you are supermarket free I don’t know how you would go about buying it…I can smuggle some to you if you like?
    And I still use “normal” toothpaste!
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    • (dt)em says

      I’ll forgive you the normal toothpaste for now, Caitlin! A few people have mentioned the Organic Care range – I think I stopped using it because I was dubious about a few ingredients, but I’d have to have a look at a label to check which.

    • (dt)em says

      I am not great with cold so I can understand! We have has such mild winters lately we haven’t even used the bar heater.

  5. Brittany says

    I use Nature’s Organic ‘Organic Care’ shampoo and conditioner – they are amazing and the ONLY natural/sustainable shampoo and conditioner I have found that doesn’t leave my hair feeling like straw!! Give them a go =)

    • (dt)em says

      I used to use that and it was pretty good. I think I saw it in my local IGA so maybe I will try it again. Thanks for the tip x

  6. Soph says

    BPA Free Tinned Tomatoes! I have been searching and have only found Spiral brand to be BPA free (apparently?). Sounds like you have done your research… so Bella Italia are the best you have found?
    Thank you for all of your fantastic info!

    • (dt)em says

      Sophie, by Bella Italia, I meant that most tinned tomatoes in Australia come from Italian fruit. As far as I know, Absolute Organics’ tins are BPA free, I’ve emailed them to confirm.

  7. Monica says

    I agree, Organic Care is the best (& cheapest) i’ve tried so far. I even managed to get my husband to give up his Loreal which he was very attached to. I recently found Australian tinned tomatoes for only 99 cents but they are in Coles :(

  8. Eliza says

    I have so many things I have to wean myself off but the worst of these is take away coffee. I have a reusable cup, but I only sometimes remember it. I feel guilty every time, but still can’t help myself.
    Eliza recently posted..Is this simple?My Profile

    • (dt)em says

      I have a little trick for this, Eliza… I have a no-takeaway-unless-it’s-in-a-reusable-cup rule. Basically, if I forget my cup, I have to drink in, which actually only takes 15 minutes at the most, or go without. Applying this rule meant that I quickly learned to remember my cup, but also managed to realise that quite often I could drink in and have some precious moments to myself! If you do get a TA cup, don’t get a lid – they’re so wasteful and can’t be recycled. That’s my two cents.

  9. Jonathan says

    Here in Wales, we have to pay 5p for every carrier bag in shops (both supermarkets and other shops such as clothes shops, book shops etc.). Although I do really agree with this from an environmental perspective, sometimes I get a sense of satisfaction from not having to pay 5p when I’m in England and bringing the free bag back across the border to Wales.

    I do feel bad saying this and try to make sure that we have plenty of bags for life at home and in the car, and also keep a couple in my office to.
    Jonathan recently posted..Interview with Ana Flores about ‘Bilingual is Better’My Profile

    • (dt)em says

      Don’t start me on plastic bags, Jonathan! I wish they were banned everywhere. I’m sure you use them to death then find a way to recycle them, right :)

  10. Abbie says

    re shampoo, apple cider vinegar and bi carb work brilliantly. I was a little skeptical, and put off transitioning for a long time, as, like you, Jo, my hair is my vanity too (not that you’d know it seeing as it spends all its time tied back) but there was no adjustment period of blargh hair (even though I had allowed for that) once dry my hair was awesome. The AVC doesn’t smell once your hair is dry (and only a little when still drying). I had used all the truly organic ones before that and I was getting dreadlocks – I have never had knotty hair in my life and there were dreadlocks at the bottom. Once I switched to ACV and bi carb it was like I had gone back to the days of using pantene (many many years ago). I can get at least a week if not longer out of the ACV bizzo, but then my hair is a tad on the dry side so it doesn’t get oily anywhere as quickly.

    • (dt)em says

      All right Abbie, I totally trust you so I’m going to do it. Today, dammit! I will bicarb my greasy locks (they never used to be greasy). Once question: do you let your hairdresser lather you up when you go for a haircut? My hairdresser is my neighbour and she already thinks I’m nuts, so I guess it won’t matter. That said, I do like having nice hair for a few days after my annual haircut…

  11. Maria says

    I would have to reiterated everything Abbey said I love my no poo better than any shampoo or conditioner cheap or salon brand.

  12. sarah says

    Hi, love all the comments and suggestions. When trying to be 100% eco-conscious it’s hard to get rid of that guilt feeling for doing 1 thing less environmentally friendly. Then I just listen to my friends and family who don’t do much but recycle and reuse plastic bags for bin liners…
    I recently decided to get rid of having cans in my cupboard. Or at least making sure they are from this country. For tomatoes I’ve started buying cheapos at the veg store, cooking them up and freezing them in 400g lots. I’ve also switched to cooking up beans as required (also much cheaper and tastier). But australian coconut milk does not exist. Buying coconuts and making the milk yourself is so time consuming.
    Also one to skip showers for a longer one occassionally, but only when there has been a decent local downpour.
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