Dirty Little Secrets


It’s time to talk about our dirty little secrets. And no, I’m not referring to your R-rated risqué bedroom repertoire, chewed fingernails or cat fur balls swept under the rug. No, I’m talking about your ecological misdemeanours.

I try to be environmentally responsible. For example, I recycle everything. Plastic, paper, yoghurt pots, jokes, husbands… (although I still love both my ex-husbands obviously.) I make amends for flights by planting trees; I must have planted a million acres of virgin rainforest to compensate for all those flights home from London to visit my mum. I buy second hand clothes.  (One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure – see earlier mention of husbands.) I don’t rinse my plates before putting them in the dishwasher. I adhere to the drought-savvy, Aussie, dunny etiquette – “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down”. And I’d rather perish of thirst like a lost Saharan explorer than purchase water in a plastic bottle. At last count I have about 75 reusable water bottles.

But I have one big environmental fail. I’m mortified to admit it in public but… I hate being cold. This proves problematic when you live half of every year in London.  Growing up in Australia I was not prepared for the British winter. The first time I left Heathrow I was so cold, my breasts started chattering. By the time I reached the city, I’d broken a nipple. Shivering, I took refuge with a friend in Hampstead but quickly realised why the English call their guest room the “blue room” – because that’s the colour you turn as you freeze to death.

Quaking beneath an inadequate duvet, I gradually lost all sensation in my fingers and toes. As dawn approached I started to wonder how long I could hold out before uttering my Titus Oats-esque “I may-be-gone-some-time” wandering-off -into-the -wilderness speech. Speech? As if. My lips were novocained from the cold. In fact, the fog in the room had become so thick that taking a gulp of air, I chipped a tooth.

As soon as I moved into my own place, I put the central heating up high. Which is where it has stayed. And I mean tropically high. Often while also curled up on a toasty electric blanket.

Occasionally, even in the summer. I know. I’m clearly going for Gold in the Hypocrisy Olympics. Let me just grab my thermals before you exile me to Social Siberia.

But I’m not alone in the Double Standard stakes. One of the founders of Extinction Rebellion confessed a few weeks back that she drives a diesel car. Dr. Gail Bradbrook sheepishly admitted that it made ferrying her kids to weekend rugby and other sporting events, so much easier. Eco-warrior Prince Harry has been similarly ridiculed for preaching environmental responsibility, while zipping around the globe in private jets.

Such is the all-consuming nature of western lifestyles that it’s practically impossible to preach about the climate and avoid being a hypocrite. But there’s no denying that climate change is the biggest challenge of our lifetime. As sweltering Aussies know only too well, the world is heating up far too fast. And we must do all we can to save our beautiful planet. Clearly, every little bit helps – showering rather than bathing; lowering the air con; re-using shopping bags… But the biggest contribution Aussies can make is to vote out the coal-fondling Scott Morrison.

When the global climate conference convenes at the Scottish Event Conference in November, Morrison will no doubt make the hole in the ozone layer even bigger with his usual hot air about meeting our climate change commitments, while refusing to set a date for zero emissions and fracking up Australia from the Bight to Beetaloo Basin.

If only Scotty From Marketing’s blustering windbaggery could be harnessed by a wind farm as an energy source. But denied that option, all we can do is use the ballot box to lob the Federal Government’s pathetic environmental policies into the land fill, because there’s nothing sustainable about those empty promises.

Right, rant over, I’m now off to put on a balaclava and turn down the heating. Maybe being fired up with passion to save the planet will become the new definition of a ‘smoking hot babe’.


So, what are your dirty little secrets and what are your clever ideas on how to make the planet greener?

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