Saturday, 20 June 2015
Step 4 in Going Green: Take Action Part 2: Re-Evaluate 'Green' In Your Daily Life
Of course, everyone knows about the 3 Rs, which has become standard practice around here these days.
Back when I was a kid, in the 70/80's, recycling meant dad was taking his empty beer battles back.
And MacDonald's put everything in styrofoam.
Those crazy 70/80's! What were we thinking? *eye roll*
So, evidently, we have come a long way!
Or so you think until you put on your 'green glasses'. Awakened to a higher environmental consciousness, you start looking beyond the 3Rs, seeing trouble everywhere...
Take the average Canadian grocery store.
I unpacked my groceries the other day and realized...they've got tons of FREE plastic bags for you to put your veggies in!
Mindlessly, for years, I have been doing this. Picking up zucchini...and putting it in the provided plastic bag.
Even when I brought my own cloth bags to pack my groceries at the check out, which is now the environmentally friendly custom...I was still picking up my green beans and stuffing them in a plastic bag...which I would then put in my enviro friendly cloth bag...
Here is a picture from my last shop:
ALL OF THESE PLASTIC BAGS ARE FOR VEGGIES!
And where do they go when I'm done with them? Right in the trash, where it takes years for them to biodegrade.
Why do I use them, you ask? Habit, I suppose. Convenience, I suppose. And they keep my precious veggies from touching the germ infested shopping cart and/or checkout counter.
So let's open the fridge and put those precious veggies away...
Only to realize that most of them have racked up a serious amount of frequent flyer points!
Most of it comes from the USA, burning up fossil fuels along the way.
(But my sweet peppers came all the way from Honduras!)
Now the one time I splurged and bought (crazy expensive) organic sweet peppers at the grocery store...I realized after the fact...that they were wrapped in plastic!
So should I buy the (crazy expensive) organic peppers wrapped in plastic...or the (cheaper) non organic peppers flown in from far away...the ones that I can then put in a plastic bag kindly provided to me by the grocery store?
Which hurts the environment more?
Decisions like that make my head hurt.
It's amazing to realize the extent to which we have created a non-environmentally friendly environment.
Here's where I put on my cranky pants, as I realize how neatly we have put the screws to ourselves.
We have created a society where almost everything we do comes at a high ecological price.
From the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep, every little mundane decision has an environmental consequence.
Gas up the car?
Turn on the lights?
Every 'ordinary' task takes on a green hue.
I can't even go to the plain ol' grocery store without developing a severe case of ANGST.
I'm not surprised a lot of well intentioned 'going green' people decide to say FORGET THIS.
Daily life seems a grind, as soon as you put on your Green Glasses. Every decision is fraught with significance. Suddenly, its not so easy going green.
Which I guess is the point. We wouldn't be in the mess we were in if we'd aligned our society differently. To change things means to swim against the current, to dig deep, and to think deep.
One day, maybe, it won't be that way. One day, green won't be 'the alternative'. It will instead be embedded in daily life, ordinary.
And future generations will roll their eyes at our time in history, mocking our astonishing lack of green. Really, *eye roll* what were we thinking?