Why go green? The most important concerns for me are my ecological footprint, my carbon footprint and global warming. Individual reasons, however, are just as diverse as the people adopting the green living lifestyle: frugal living, preserving water, protecting land and animals, health, etc.
I'm going to touch on three main reasons - climate change, health and wellness, and ethical reasons. If you have other reasons to go green, please share them with us!
The ecological footprint is the amount of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems. Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas caused by something or someone. Whichever way you think of it, we're contributing to global warming (or climate change). Think of the earth as a garden, surrounded by a greenhouse, which is the atmosphere. In order to maintain just the right growing temperature and humidity, most greenhouses have vents for releasing excess heat. Unfortunately, we have no such vent on Earth. As greenhouse gasses build up in our atmosphere, we are trapping more and more heat, which is causing global warming. Notice the increase in odd weather? Notice the increase in devastating storms? Notice the melting ice caps? Notice the lack of snow on our beautiful Rocky Mountains here in Colorado? This is all because of climate change and global warming. Why go green? Reducing your carbon footprint and keeping the ecological footprint in mind can help at least slow down this trend.
Nothing just comes from the store. It takes energy to create everything we purchase. I choose to buy local green to reduce my carbon footprint, reduce my ecological footprint, slow global warming and to empower local growers and manufacturers. I choose to buy free range chicken and fair trade coffee because of the ethics involved – I need to know that the goods I'm buying are produced ethically – and I don't want to support growers with rows and rows of chickens confined to spaces hardly large enough for them to move, living in their own feces. Why go green? On a larger scale, I need to know that I'm doing my best to reduce (voluntary simplicity), reuse and recycle so that I'm helping to preserve the water, plants, animals and planet for future generations.
Health and Wellness
Women absorb an average of 4+ pounds per year of cosmetics and lotions into their skin. Your skin is your largest organ – don't you want that 4 pounds to be as natural and good for your body as possible? Fruits and vegetables absorb the pesticides sprayed onto them and then we ingest them, so I always buy organic. To me, it's worth the extra cost to know that I'm not eating poison. “Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees.”
Choosing green companies to purchase from supports their initiatives to reduce their carbon footprints, to reduce their ecological footprints, and to reduce their global warming causing emissions. Why go green? It's a win-win! You get healthier and safer products and you help reduce global warming!
Whatever your reasons, be aware that the planet is becoming smaller and smaller with technological advances … pesticides sprayed on Florida orange trees can effect the air quality in Montana, the dangerous exhaust produced by a coal-powered energy plant in North Carolina can effect the air quality in South America, and the greenhouse gasses emitted by production facilities in China can effect the reefs in Australia. Nearly 25% of our modern medicines come from the rainforests, yet less than 1% of the species have been tested. Personally, I'd like the rainforests to be around long enough to have everything tested and find that elusive cure for cancer, diabetes and/or HIV/AIDS.
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