Saturday, April 7, 2007

Green 4 Green

In many ways, I'm really glad to see more and more people thinking g-r-e-e-n. Consumers are starting to pay better attention to what goes into a product, how far it must travel to reach us and the cost to our land, air and water to produce it. Such things bode well for the future of our planet.

Unfortunately, there's still one pervasive problem that intersects mightily with the so-called Green Revolution -- it takes a lot of green to be green. It's far easier to live an environmentally-friendly life if your bank account (not to mention other forms of financial wealth) has five or more numbers to the left of the decimal point. If you're one of the billions of people on this planet who struggle to get by month-to-month, you don't have the luxury to decide which product is the most green -- you go with what is the least expensive!

For my family, this is not some esoteric discussion -- We're proud members of the working poor! We would love to buy only organic and non-GMO foods, but the price of these items, too often, simply is beyond our means. While my wife & I REFUSE to shop at Walmart on philosophical grounds, I can readily understand why most of my neighbors do shop there. And we'd love to drive one of those shiny new hybrids, but...well, let's get real!

The best environmental choices -- replete with a variety of snazzy tax incentives -- were not developed for people like us. While I would bet that we're more environmentally-motivated than the average family, our current Green Revolution is driven by the same time-honored system that created throwaway plastic bottles, the Hummer and George W. Bush -- capitalism. And all that capitalists care about is maximizing short-term profits.

Enter the Green Party. What began as a political movement focused squarely on the environment has now blossomed into a political force that views the environment, economics and social justice as different sides of the same coin. We realize that, in order for our society to move toward a sustainable utilization of finite resources, we must alter the way society views all three of these interconnected variables. In other words, to reach our goals, all three must be altered simultaneously.

It's a gigantic task, but one that is needed now more than ever, both for the survival of our planet and the myriad beings that call it home.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Rabid Greenie here myself. We can't afford much either but we do recycle faithfully and use 7th Generation products when we can.

    We buy organic when we can (especially milk after seeing the excellent documentary, "The Corporation."

    And we are slowly replacing all our leather products with non-cruelty alternatives. Such as I bought recently a new pair of non-leather, non-cruelty, sweatshop free shoes after saving up. And you know, having saved up for them makes wearing them that much more of a pleasure.

    Again, great post and a great blog. I'll be back. By the way, I also run a political blog and you can find that here:



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