Culture

Published on March 25th, 2009 | by zshahan

7

Everyday Life — How to Really Change the Environment

If you don’t eat for a day, you know it. If you stay inside all day, you feel it and it makes a strong impression on the character of the day. These are two critical parts of our day — what we eat and where we go.

If we want to be Green, if we want to make a decision to help the environment, these daily issues are about as big as it gets. If we buy a green product — an organic cotton t-shirt, a hemp bag or wallet, a recycled chair — we are, basically, doing one environmental action. If we decide to make our eating and transportation habits environmentally friendly, however, we are make several environmental actions everyday.

We see many figures showing us that transportation and food are the largest contributors to the global warming crisis and to many other environmental issues (water quality, air quality, etc.), but do we take this home and say, “this is what I need to change”?

Here are three or four ways to make that change we have been waiting for.

1) Forget the Car!
There are almost always other options for getting around. You may have to change your lifestyle a bit, but more than anything, it is just a matter of changing your mindset about it all. You have to look for the advantages to these other options and forget the outdated ideas that ‘the car gives us freedom’ or makes our life any simpler or easier. For more on this topic, read here. Also, read this article on some of the costs of transportation.

2) Go Vegetarian!
There is little doubt anymore, becoming vegetarian is one of the biggest things you can do to be environmentally friendly and may even be the biggest these days! Worldwide, when it comes to creating the current climate change crisis we are experiencing, no factor is bigger than the “production” of animals for meat.

3) Eat local, Eat Organic.
Stop telling yourself it is too expensive. If you take the true costs into account, it is less expensive! It is better for your health, better for the environment, better for society, and tastes better! So, stop counting pennies at the register and take the leap to eat better!




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  • http://www.yahoo.com Bobby B.

    I guess if you “drink the kool-aid” and accept that there is a manmade “global warming crisis” these may be changes worth making. However, even though AGW is settled as far as the UN and liberal politicians are concerned, the scientific community is still debating (insert www. in front of the following link):

    worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=92772

    I posted the following questions – which also apply to this post – in response to a book review post by Justin Van Kleeck:

    1. If it is okay to turn against and seek the ruin of moral hypocrites, why do the green leftists defend the actions of environmental hypocrites?

    2. More importantly, why are green leftists willing to live a life of want at the behest of those who live a life of opulence?

    Note: I have asked these questions many times across several years and have never received a cogent answer (and I am still waiting).

  • Concetta

    I have to admit, I normally don’t fall into the trap for commenting on these unless I really agree or I’m really ticked off by something in the post.

    “3) Eat local, Eat Organic.
    Stop telling yourself it is too expensive. If you take the true costs into account, it is less expensive! It is better for your health, better for the environment, better for society, and tastes better! So, stop counting pennies at the register and take the leap to eat better!”

    Okay. I’d love for you to tell that to the people who have been out of work for the last six months – to their faces.

    I’m sorry, a statement like that is very much out of touch with reality right now.

    Here’s what I would say – Organic food does matter, but its not a you-have-to-switch-everything proposition. Certain foods are better for you because they have less pesticide, are better for your health because of reduced fat and additives and seasonally will save you money.

    Pinching pennies does matter right now – but if green people play their cards right and explain what has the most value, the people pinching pennies now will spend them later.

  • j. gunn

    i agree heartly, in principle, on the lifestyle argument. i motorcycle even through the winter, and enjoy running errands by bicycle in the better weather months when i have time. (this is easier said than done in a sprawling suburban layout severely lacking in sidewalks.) i would love one day to have an electric bicycle that allows me to be as environmentally friendly as possible without having to sacrifice commute time. (ps: and electric cars suck when you factor in their manufacturing and upkeep pollution.)

    but as a diabetic, being vegetarian is an impossibility, and i find your simplistic “one size fits all” attitude a little insulting. please be a little more considerate that not everyone is in your own situation.

  • Weaver

    The SECOND largest cause of clear cutting forests is for soy production. If we all stopped eating meat, then they would have to massively ramp up soy production and it would overtake clear cutting from cattle.

  • Mary L.

    Weaver: Here are some facts for you to end your unfounded worries that soy production would overtake clear cutting from cattle. This information is from the World Watch Institute: worldwatch.org/node/5442

    1. Global growth in wealth and in industrial agriculture has resulted in greater consumption of meat and convenience foods, raising demand for soybeans as animal feed and as soybean oil (the most widely used vegetable oil).

    2. Soybean meal, the protein-rich solid produced in the soybean crushing and oil extraction process, accounts for 65 percent of the world’s protein feed.

    3. The majority of soy meal is used for animal feed, including 98 percent in the United States.

    So, much of the soy is going to ANIMALS for livestock raising, not people. There would be plenty of food to go around if people eat the soy directly, instead of filtering it through animals first.

    Moreover, instead of worrying that soy production would over clear cutting from cattle, you should worry about at the extensive damage that livestock production inflicts on the environment.

    According to the IPCC, livestock industry is the LARGEST contributor to greenhouse gases in the world today, even more than all transportation combined. Methane released from livestock is 23 times more potent than CO2 in trapping heat. Not to mention all the water used when there is water shortages everywhere. And where do you think all the livestock wastes go?

    Please, please do your research. Check all the recent news. It’s undeniable: A vegetarian diet is the greatest, easiest, and cheapest thing you can do to lessen your carbon footprint and save the planet.

  • russ

    Let the tree huggers have their fun and go live in their caves.

    I believe in global warming though not the hypocrites like gore. Do what you can but don’t get up on soap boxes and tell everyone how wonderful some silly alternate life style is.

    Am considering opening a vegetarian food place – could have a menu of roast, boiled, and baked vegetarians as well as vegetarian soup. Think it would be popular?

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