Saturday, October 24, 2009

Are You Brave Enough?

My wife and I woke early this AM, anxious about many, many things from the environment to the economy and back again. But we were also excited about today because October 24th will be a day for folks to demonstrate for a positive new beginning. They will be coming together at more than 5200 events in 181 countries to show their support for the concept of actually doing something about climate change. For some that means supporting the regulation of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, but for others it also means a commitment to change in their personal lives. For this latter group it means leading a less impactful life, perhaps not as radical as No Impact Man, but making significant cuts nonetheless.

I don’t know what others are doing, but for us this less impactful life means less driving. But it also means careful shopping. Last night for instance, we were making decisions on produce based not only on whether or not they were organic but where they came from and how they were packaged. We find it a little offensive, for instance, to buy organic spinach that has traveled 3000 miles and is housed in a plastic tub. Seems to defeat the whole intent of growing organically and purposely disconnects us from farmers.

Likewise, our new toothbrush choice was influenced by whether it was recyclable or not. Milk and apples went though the same decisional screens as well. As did our purchase of two cans of wild caught salmon where the debate centered on price per pound, can size and potential waste. Clearly, this type of conscious consumerism is a change from the Supermarket Sweep type of grab and throw cart-stuffing engaged in by most Americans. The end result being we did not buy much and did not have to carry much to the Metro and that is OK.

So go to the International Day of Climate Action event nearest you (www.350.org) and brave the crowds, but that is only part of it. You also have to be brave enough to change the way you live and consume.

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