Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Green Philosophy

1. Ask yourself to buy new last. That's right. Search thrift stores, consignment shops, garage sales, flea markets and places like E-bay or bookmooch for items that are gently used but serviceable. Not only does it keep the price down, and sometimes you can even barter stuff like on Freecycle, but they don't have to keep making more to keep up with the demand. Maybe even borrow the item from a friend?

2. Ask yourself: Do I really need this? Probably the toughest question of all in a corporate-driven, consumerist culture, but nevertheless an important one. Will something else suffice? If so, use that. Save your pennies and the need to eventually toss it into a landfill.

3. Ask yourself: How much will it cost to maintain it? Are there plastic parts that might break, forcing you to discard them into a landfill? How was the item made? Does it require regular upkeep? All of these things involve time, resources and energy. (I would like to see a sharp move away from the predominance of plastic items, like vacuum cleaners and the like. Metal one work better, longer, and are easier on the environment.)

4. Ask yourself: Does this have more than one use in it? Can it be recycled at all? Styrofoam egg cartons and drink cups, etc. Plastic bags. If you can it's best to get things that have a second or third life that can be attached. I buy plants that are decorative only occasionally; most of my plants actually are either medicinal or culinary.

5. Ask yourself to go natural wherever possible. Cotton, linen, glass, ceramics, wood. These items break down, in the long run. If you can't recycle it, can you return it to the Earth with minimal damage? Low impact products are the key. Can you use salt to scrub a pan instead of a plastic scrubber or 'disposable' steel wool?

So, there you have it. My green philosophy.


And in strangely good news:

India's Temples Go Green.

It's not surprising that religious groups are in the vanguard of India's green movement: India is the birthplace of four of the world's largest religions — Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, all of which revere nature and preach conservation. But the country's environmental practice hasn't always matched that preaching, leaving its air and water woefully polluted. According to the World Bank, emissions increased 57% in the decade following the India's economic liberalization.


purpledogstar said...

Those are very good questions to ask oneself.

Thea said...

Using Mooncups I feel particularly virtuous as I no longer contribute to the world's landfills.

One small way I save money and lessen my impact upon the environment.