Being a Green Consumer
Kermit the Frog once said, "It's not easy being green." Even though modern life can be complicated and the choices confusing, being a green consumer doesn't have to be hard. Being green just means consuming less and making choices on a day to day basis with some thought towards the consequences.
By the nature of the way we live we have a distinct effect on the environment through the consumption of resources and the disposal of wastes. In a sense we are drowning in our own affluence (or is that effluence?). Consider the following facts:
1. The solid wastes generated in the U.S. in ONE YEAR could pave a highway 24 lanes wide and 1 foot deep from Boston to Los Angeles.
The consequences can be staggering. Landfills are overflowing and leaking toxic substances into our water supply. Incinerating trash causes air pollution. Our oceans, lakes and rivers contain medical wastes that are either radioactive or potentially pathogenic. Plastic waste is killing wildlife. Not to mention we are throwing away valuable resources that could be recycled.
So what can we do about it? Obviously we can never reduce our consumption to zero. But we can start by looking at the four R's of being a green consumer:
The frequently quoted adage "Think globally, act locally" has never been more timely. A better way to read it would be: "Local actions have global consequences". This doesn't mean that you need to feel responsible for all the environmental problems, but taking individual responsibility is where the solutions can begin. Because while no ONE person's green consumerism will solve all our environmental problems, multiplied by thousands or millions, it will make the difference.