Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Earth Day!

Earth Day is here, and I'm amazed at how chic it has become to go green. You can't turn on the TV these days without a show about green issues; sadly, most of what I've seen are stories about things you can BUY that are green. Want to save the earth? You can buy a t-shirt made of organic cotton created by fairly paid workers. Or, you could remodel your house, as long as you use sustainable bamboo flooring. Unfortunately, all of these feel-good solutions are, in my mind, missing the point. Maybe we should examine if we really NEED a new t-shirt or a home remodel. As Americans, we have not tread lightly on this earth. I'm not sure when it happened, but we stopped being referred to as citizens, and are now called consumers, which is what we have become. We are the wealthiest (and some would say the luckiest) country on the earth, and with this good fortune should come wisdom and foresight. This beautiful planet has served us well, and now it is our turn to return the favor.

I hope that everyone will take today to begin at least one new habit that will help to nurture this planet so our children can enjoy it's bounties as we have. One thing that is doable for most of us is to stop using plastic bags. Whole Foods is actually giving away free eco-bags today, and most grocery stores now sell them for a very minimal price (the trick, at least for me, is remembering to actually bring the bag with you to the store!). Maybe you could start recycling, or really think about your purchases before making them to examine if it's something that's a need or simply a want. Being green doesn't need to be complicated or expensive (though it can be both, if you'd prefer); it just involves being more conscious of our day-to-day decisions, and thinking about the impact these decisions make on the world around us.

1 comment:

The Professor said...

Well said, MN, as always. Here's a link to a handy dandy tool that helps me combat the consumerist mentality you described: Wallet Buddy.