Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How To Think Green

In order to live a green life, you need to change how you think. We have grown accustomed to having new stuff and making life easier. We have learned that there are shortcuts that we can take to speed anything that we want to do, and this demand for shortcuts have endangered our plant, our lives.

The "New is Better" Mindset

I must say, the marketing campaigns of the 70s have successfully transformed our minds into thinking newer things means better things. Quantity over quality. A lot of people would rather buy 10 of the same cheap shoes than buy one quality shoe that would last year. "At least I have shoes that are 10 times new".

Imagine how much energy is spent in making just one shoe? Most shoes use virgin materials, meaning materials that are made out of the earth's resources. Imagine how many trees need to be cut and animals slaughtered to procure raw materials; imagine how much smoke was released in the atmosphere to turn the raw materials to virgin, workable materials. Imagine how much gas was used to ship raw materials, virgin materials and finished products from material warehouses to manufacturing warehouses. How much CO2 was emitted by airplanes and trucks for shipping? How much oil seeped in the oceans.

To think green we should have the:

Quality over Quantity Mindset

To live green, we need to change our mindset to quality over quantity. Buying lesser shoes would mean a lower demand for shoe manufacturing. Maybe you're thinking that you're just one person, and purchasing less wouldn't move the demand for shoes? Well, that's where you're blinded. Sure one person wouldn't make much of a difference, but if you count how much shoes you buy in a lifetime, you'll believe me in saying that it's enough to make an impact in the demand for sure. Now imagine that if 100 people all over the world changed their mindset, that would make a drastic impact in the demand.

"Good For the Planet, Bad for Me" Way of Thinking

I am surprised to find that a lot of people would rather put first their own comforts versus the sustainability of the world. Take straws for instance, people would rather use a drinking straw cause ice-cold beverages can damage teeth and their roots (or so they say), or that the drinking glasses weren't cleaned properly and they might get diseases from drinking on the rim (this excuse really had me wondering if the person who said it really understood what he's saying).

I'm still waiting for my front teeth to fall off, or something else, for not using straws. So far, I haven't had toothaches my teeth aren't that stained. And as for dirty drinking glasses, whatever's in the rim of that glass might as well be in the glass, since when the glasses are washed, they put everything in a tub of water, so the germs are pretty much all over.

 To think green we should have the:

"Right for the Environment, Right for Everyone" Way of Thinking

It's the age old saying, "Good doesn't mean it's right". It's time we stop fumbling with good and bad, and start working with right and wrong. Using a straw may be good for you but, it's not right for you simply because it's wrong for the environment. Whatever the earth is suffering now, we will suffer it back, twice- or maybe thrice-fold.

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