Earth Day

Today is Earth Day and there are scores of awareness raising events, articles, promotions.

I’m a little conflicted by the day.

My boyfriend and I don’t buy into Valentines Day. We boycott the day. We don’t plan special dinners, I don’t expect flowers. The most I have ever done is buy him a card (because it was a funny card) but we don’t feel that there should be one day that you tell or show the person you love that you care. He has been told, in no uncertain terms, that if he ever proposed on Valentines Day (or any other holiday, birthday or in front of friends, family or strangers) that I will kick his ass. Some people would think such a proposal was romantic- I just think it is the ultimate in cheese (no offense to people who love all things Valentines).

We should not be thinking about what we do to the planet just one day of the year. But one day is better than none at all, I guess.

I have also been thinking a lot about what is and isn’t green.

The green bandwagon is one that a lot of entrepreneurs are jumping onto. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it is our responsibility as consumers to make conscious decisions and to be aware of what is and isn’t green that isn’t really green. Don’t get taken in by “green washing.”

What is “green washing”? Subterfuge. It is the spinning of policies or products to appear green.

It is also important to be aware that certain alternatives, like reusable bags, are only a better option if they are actually used again. You may feel better for buying them at the store but if they are only used once, the throwaway bag at the grocery store that you get dinged 5 cents for is actually the better option.

The New York Times recently published an interesting article about the use of steel water bottles over the purchase of bottled water. It goes through a life cycle assessment to evaluate the environmental and health impact of a stainless steel thermos. Some salient points to consider. The bottom line is that it is not the perfect solution but if you used at least 50 times, it is better than bottled water. 

While it is great that you recycle your pop can or rush out to collect some of the freebies (such as Brita pitchers in Toronto) being offered today, make a real change and do it (recycle, compost, green bin, walk) or use it (coffee mug, reusable bag, steel water bottle) every day.

There are no perfect solutions but there are better options. We can make better choices on the consumer level and in the political arena. 

The ultimate goal is to make Earth Day redundant. Believe it or not, we have a lot of power- we just have to use this power for good and not evil.

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~ by angryegg on April 22, 2009.

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