SAVE THE EARTH -
"The evidence of global warming keeps piling up,
month after month, week after week. ... [However],
Congress' approach to global warming is: know
nothing, do nothing, say nothing. ... How long is it
going to take before these people in the Congress
get the message? People are sweltering out there.
... We owe it to our children and grandchildren to
listen to what the scientists tell us about global
climate change, to speak out forcefully, and to act
decisively. Numerous disasters and tragedies
around the country tell us that we cannot wait."
- Al Gore
When news reports state that this past June was the hottest on record and old people are dying in Texas because of the heat, it sounds a few alarms. Vice President Gore recently appeared on television stating that these reports must be taken as positive proof of the dangers of pollution and environmental negligence causing the greenhouse effect, and urged Congress to wake up and take action now before the problem worsens.
What's a consumer to do to help in this global crisis, to not feel helpless and instead feel part of the solution?
If you believe the maxims that the longest journey starts with the first step and to think globally but act locally, then there are hundreds of things we consumers can do to help save the earth.
By shopping consciously for environmentally-friendly products and services we will effect a positive change in the right direction. There is a environmental revolution exploding: people are buying organic foods and products in record numbers. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic food clearly is moving into the mainstream, as evidenced by a 20 to 25 percent increase in sales every year for the last seven years. The New York Times reports that 60 percent of Americans are interested in buying organic products, which in their eyes are better for the environment and also healthier because they are not made with synthetic substances.
Although the trend is in our favor, the problem that remains with today's society is that we are too hedonistic, living for today and not caring about future generations. We are a society crazed with superficiality and materialism at any cost. We are a physically and mentally imbalanced society, polluting ourselves and our planet - it's time to take a new look at our priorities and make a change.
This materialism at any cost is now coming back to threaten our very existence with mother earth reacting by creating ozone holes, record hot temperatures and numerous natural disasters. In addition, children are suffering in greater numbers from asthma, childhood cancers and air pollution, fish are dying and people are getting sick from polluted water, species are disappearing, acid rain and deforestation are destroying the forests and our natural ecosystems. So what are we to do? Make a decision to educate yourself, buy environmentally-friendly products (there is an earth-friendly alternative to just about anything these days - see the EcoMall's ever expanding Companies and Products section), buy organic produce (to keep pesticides out of our bodies and water supply), do what you can to clean up your own environment, recycle and buy recycled. As Tahani, a Native American medicine woman, once said, "You can tell how evolved a society is by how much of its garbage is recycled".
All industries must also consider the total environmental impact of all products made from new to obsolete. Life-cycle costing must always be considered. The use of solar and other renewable forms of energy should be supported to the fullest by the governments of the world. The day will come when the majority of the world's energy needs will be from clean sustainable energies like solar, hydro and wind. This dream will surely come true in the 21st century - it has to for our survival as oil quickly runs out.
By becoming a green consumer and supporting green industries, you are doing your part to help save the environment by being more in tune to the earth's needs of a organic, sustainable lifestyle. This incorporates every thing you do, from using non toxic household cleaners and paints, recycled paper and tree-free paper products, purchasing organically grown food, clothes, etc. - living in harmony with the environment rather than taking advantage of it. These steps are not only better for the planet but for the health of you and your family. But for this revolution to truly take hold, the public must create a demand and support these products.
Green consumers are politically active by nature and as numerous opinion polls show, the majority of people want the government to do more to help save the environment for future generations. One of the advantages of the rapidly growing Internet is its ability to facilitate activism so that you can easily e-mail elected officials and support environmental causes and organizations (which the EcoMall is proud to offer in its Activism section, for this purpose so please use it).
The hottest June on record should be a wake up call - before it is too late - to realize that we must act now or suffer the consequences. Pollution is a violent act against nature and we as a people must say enough is enough. At the rate we are going, 2011 will be the hottest year on record, breaking last year's record. We can do nothing and watch apathetically as conditions continue to worsen, leaving a legacy of a diseased, toxic planet for our children, or we can do something about it and take action now. The fact that the global outcry to stop the greenhouse effect is getting louder is a very good sign. As U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said at the opening of the Kyoto Global Warming Conference, "There are times when only an act of courage can spur progress in world affairs." Humanity has created this grave situation and humanity can correct it and must in the coming new millenium. An evolved society's goal should be to deliberately affect environments to create an ideal world and self. We must all do our part to help save the environment and endangered species - which now includes ourselves. By shopping green, you do make a difference! Written by: Tom Kay, Founder of the EcoMall
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