Having been a major proponent for environmental responsibility for years now, I have often said that the “movement” wouldn’t take off until corporations could figure out a way to make a buck off of it. Well, lo and behold, Madison Avenue has found that ticket in the biggest buzz word of the new millennium: "green". Yep, just like the color of money. How appropriate that is. Not since the advent of the term "lite" , has one little word spawned such a wild eyed media scramble to attack well intentioned citizens who can’t figure out that environmentalism and consumerism aren’t one and the same.
I fear that today’s impressionable consumer will be lulled into thinking that everything will be ok as long as they buy “green”. Think about how the “lite” food and beverage craze averted a whole generation from obesity…. oh right, it didn’t. Today, we are the fattest society in the history of mankind. We are a society of piranhas trained to flock and attack whatever is hot, be it a hybrid SUV or or a free range chicken. Word people: we can’t buy our way into an environmentally responsible society. Just like anything else, accomplishments are earned through effort. Consumerism without conscience got us into this mess but it will take more than a dash of “green” awareness to get us out of it! It is up to us to demand a change be made. How do we do this? We do it by actions that promote change everyday, be they large or small. Here are some suggestions:
Buy Locally – Support local businesses whenever possible and never, ever enter a Wal-Mart store again. Wal-Mart should be everyone’s public enemy number 1 for numerous reasons ranging from human exploitation to CO2 emissions in both the US and China. But if those aren't good enough for you, suffice it to say, you will sleep better for the rest of your life never having to hear another battered child screaming in the toy strewn aisles of that hell hole of a store. I dream for the day we run those bastards out of business.
Move Closer to Your Work – If you long for the country life so be it. More power to you. Just find a way to work there too. We as a society can no longer afford the luxury of commuting 20+ miles each way to work everyday. Urban sprawl and the energy demands that result are killing us all and we have the power to stop it. Be a part of the solution rather than the problem. Live near your work.
Buy Environmentally Responsible Products – Hey, I didn’t say buying “green” was bad. It’s just a part of the solution. Take the time to know what companies and what products promote energy conservation and environmentalism and make it a point to support them.
Rattle Cages – Demand accountability on environmental issues from your elected officials. We all have them and they are there for us to torment. We owe it to them to make their life miserable. The more time politicians spend answering to us, the less time they will have to get into trouble. Citizens of Idaho, take heed to this.
Re-evaluate Transportation Needs – Walk, bike, scooter, fuel efficient vehicle…… what do all these things have in common? They are all better than that 4 ton gas guzzling behemoth you are putting $100 a week into!!!!
Be Willing to Sacrifice Some Conveniences - For the sake of a cleaner world give up something. Be it plastic bags, chemicals for your lawn, the Hummer (the vehicle, not the uhh....nevermind), pick something, anything……
OK, I feel better now.