Monday, October 10, 2011

Be Green

Be green.

1364013It looks so basic but really it means many different things to different people. What does it really mean to be green?

Well the very basic answer is that you are doing things in a way that are good for Earth and it's environment. Being green could mean not throwing away plastic bottles and making sure they are recycled. Being green can mean taking steps in your home to use less electricity. Being green can mean taking steps to use less oil for driving and heating your home. Being green can mean buying your food locally and organically. Being green also means taking steps to combat the effects of global warming. There are really many areas of the green movement but they all have saving the Earth at their core.

While I agree that saving the Earth is indeed what we should all want to do with out any incentive, I also know that reality means it's not going to happen that easily. There are just too many incentives for too many people not to worry about saving the planet. The rub really comes in when you see that people and companies have never factored into their pricing what they are doing to the environment. Thing about the plastic packaging that comes along with any small electronic device that you might buy. The company that manufactured that device can likely tell you how much it cost them to produce or buy that packaging and get their product in it. I'm sure though they have no idea what the cost of that packaging finally being disposed of someplace in the planet. It's just not something that we are programmed to think about. Even on a personal level you might know how much you pay to have your trash taken away, but it is a flat monthly fee and throwing out one more package won't change the price. We pay for trash removal and not trash disposition. In other words, we are paying for the price for a company to stop at our house and take it to the dump. The price of that trash sitting in that landfill and all the effects it'll have in our environment aren't factored at any point along the way.

It a problem that was born into our thinking from way back in history when there were far less humans then there are now. If you go back far enough in history there just weren't enough humans doing bad environmental things to effect the environment as a whole. We could make things and throw things out and put them in a pile in the woods and while it wasn't a great thing, it just wasn't enough to hurt Earth. But then as our population number grew and we started doing worse and worse things from an environmental standpoint, our same thinking carried through. To be fair humans didn't really understand that what they were doing could have an effect on Earth. The trick is that as some of us were able to see what was happening was bad, the ball was all ready rolling very quickly downhill. We may have gotten into all this innocently enough but now we're all guilty and either we know it or we're pretending we don't. For years and year companies were going about their business without any concern or cost to them based on the impacts of what they were doing on the planet. This lack of cost was built into all their pricing. Imagine what would happen if every product we bought had to factor in it's impact on the environment. Or if we had to pay the real cost of throwing out the trash. It would really change what we buy, what we could afford to buy, and what we throw away.

Companies have had it too good for too long to want to give up this free cost of doing business. They have all the money and are working to convince the world that global warming is a hoax. Don't believe the hype! You and I need to be Green. Companies need to Green. The only question is really whether we as a planet are going to figure out what being green means and how to do it, before the effects of not being green ruin the whole planet for all of us!

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