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Going Green?

Written by Mercedes on Friday, 17 April 2009. Posted in Opas Blog, Environment

Going Green?

Green is in! What does it mean to go green?

Every couple years or so we go through trends and fads. I am sure you remember the 60’s, everyone falling in love with nature all over again, something we seem to repeat. I do wonder when many people will understand we need nature in order to live. Is this green wave a flash of the 60’s or are we really trying to save our planet this time? My question is was it a trend for companies to sell products to consumers that would cause serious health problems? Certainly the research is available and budget for natural alternatives.

This green wave is affecting the world.

Companies like General Electric, Home Depot, and even Mc Donald’s are jumping on the bandwagon, but for how long? These greedy companies started to lose money because buyers became more environmentally conscious. Is it necessarily ok to sell synthetic ingredients (chemicals) without letting the consumers know the risks? I think not. Not only the big companies should be at fault but the consumer plays a big role as well.

Yes, the consumers are in control. If the consumers shift their money towards a better future then a better future it is. It’s just that easy. When the consumers start to shift their money to "greener products" companies like Pepsi, Mc Donalds, S.C. Johnson will jump on the bandwagon labeling products "Natural", then producing products with one or two naturally derived ingredients and leaving the same harmful synthetic ingredients inside. Why don't they remove these harmful synthetic ingredients and replace them with natural sustainable ingredients? Well, these companies must care about our environment too. Right? After all they generate a lot of revenue and sell to billions of consumers worldwide. For example, if S.C. Johnson's main products are not good for the environment but their "Green Works" line is "environmentally friendly", why are S.C. Johnson's main products still on the market?

Is going green a good thing to do?

Well yes, certainly, it is a great thing.  It’s called going back to the basics.  It’s what we heard as a child about our great-grandmother, when she grew her own vegetables, ironed and tailored the families’ clothes. Or how about when she cooked for the entire family, every night, and if she had any oil left she would use it to make soap. Nothing was to be wasted in those days, it seems we came from such smart pioneers, how could we be so far behind.

Going green means; separating your trash, investing in energy efficient light bulbs, riding your bike instead of driving your car, investing in solar panels, support local farming, support organic and pesticide-free products, prepare amounts of food that you know you’ll eat, eat seasonal vegetables, reduce the need for meat, create a compost, buy recycled furniture at a yard sale or thrift store there are enough materials sitting in landfills, don’t let the water run when you are washing the dishes, water your plants with a bucket full of water to control how much water you use instead of a  garden hose, if you have a house install a water catchment system, if you do not have a house use a bucket to catch rainwater, buy used clothing, 97% of my clothes are used or hand-me-downs, buy organic cotton you’ll never feel anything softer, commercial cotton is full of chemicals which are not only toxic to the environment but to our skin. If you have the funds why not invest in a community garden. By investing in a community garden you’ll create meaningful jobs, aid in the recycle process of carbon dioxide into oxygen, and reap the benefits of growing your own vegetables and plants.

Going green would be a benefit to all including our future generations to come but I think what people fail to realize at this point in time is that big companies who are “going green” like Unilever’s Dove they wipe out rainforests in Indonesia to grow Palm oil. It’s not clever to wipe out rainforest to make a profit. Wiping out rainforests means to destroy natural habitats, animal species, microorganisms, and plants.

The balance of nature will be offset, and, for example, the Amazon Rainforest provides more than 20% of the worlds oxygen.  Destroying rainforests even keeps us from finding cures for life-threatening diseases. With many man-made diseases arising it is critical we protect the rainforest. Obviously if bigger companies are going green it will cause a problem. We haven’t fully understood the concept of balance and that will hurt us in the long run. In my opinion, a company, big or small, who poisons millions of people with their products in visible sight, and wipes out rainforests and makes profit from these bad business practices doesn’t deserve a dime from me or you.

See Tripa Peat Swamp Forest, a coastal rainforest located in Aceh, West Indonesia. Forests are continuously being destroyed for companies to grow Palm oil. They are not only wiping out natural habitats, animal and plant species but they have taken away a lot of food sources, drinking water, and medicinal plants for locals. What if a company decided to wipe out your local neighborhood for profit?

  • Support your local farmers
  • Buy local, independent, and seasonal
  • Do your part in recycling
  • Plant your own vegetables, even on balconies

Let’s work together with Mother Nature. Educate yourself, be a leader not a follower. The change starts in you.

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