Green on the brain (Day 60)…

By the time I was finally done checking out all the booths and exhibitions at the Green Living Show this weekend, I felt a bit greened out. Maybe it was the overt consumerism and the throngs of people elbowing one another to get free samples of biodegradable vegetable wash and organic granola. Or maybe it was the fact that my media pass was not only made from recycled paper but attached to a shoelace proclaiming “I used to be a pop bottle!” Or it could have just been the occasional waft of body odour and wheatgrass. Either way, it was all a bit much.

However, what made the trip worthwhile (other than the complimentary bike tune-up — thanks, Duke’s!) was Margaret Atwood‘s interview with George Monbiot, the popular Guardian columnist and author of Heat. He appeared via LongPen from his home in Wales and was very articulate; it was nice to see an environmentalist so compelling and yet so rational. I learned why biofuel is far from being a green solution, how a trans-Atlantic flight negates in a couple seconds an entire lifetime of composting, recycling and solar panelling, and also why those who think it’s too late to try to stop global warming are just plain wrong.

Listening to him for one hour left me with plenty to ponder and was considerably more valuable than any product or brochure kit. Hence my next green change: to make sure I spend some part of each day educating myself about the environment. It might include reading a book like Heat, talking to the owner of a store like Grassroots, watching a documentary about corn, or just scanning all the green blogs. And no, shopping online for stylish tote bags does not count.

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3 Responses to Green on the brain (Day 60)…

  1. Mido says:

    Okay, as much as I love to get green stuff and be part of a group of other green people, it can be overwhelming to see it being turned into another venue of extreme consumerism (so I think I can relate to your overwhelmed state you mentioned). I think that we, as consumers, should approach the issue of making our world a better place to live in by only buying things when we need them. But I guess it’s also a duty to promote green products to replace old ones by purchasing them to increase demand and supply….okay, so it’s a tricky road to walk on, I’ll admit. I guess, if you have the income to support green products, then go for it, right?

    What really gets me is that there was a study conducted that reported that 70 percent of Americans did not know that plastic bottles and such are made out of petroleum, which further exacerbates our dependence on dwindling oil supplies (so it’s not only gas we have to worry about losing)…and 40 percent of those people thought that all plastic was biodegradable over time (it’s good that some plastic is now biodegradable). I really think that our goal should be to educate the public rather than pushing for more extreme green products, as that they will be expensive to start out with and not everyone can afford it. The green products will come once people realize what the regular options are doing to our health and environment.

    Also there should be more education on how biofuels are not the solution (like your speaker indicated, I assume)–because everyone I know thinks that they are the wonderful bandaid to fix the earth. I have to explain time and time again that you have to burn coal and oil in order to make or transport the biofuel (at least in America…I am not knowledgable about other places). All those crops could go to feeding the poor (domestically, internationally), not to mention the fact that all the water that goes to producing the crop is not regulated (so we don’t know how much water is being wasted), in addition to all the forest land that will be cut down to produce the crops (releasing carbon and adding to erosion).

    Whoo…sorry for this long, long reply but it bothers me how people are not given access to important information that could help us minimize global warming. Instead, the information is kept from the public and they continue to support erroneous tactics unintentionally.

    Thank goodness for blogs like yours—you are up with the current trends and you share information to wider world through an easily accessive media venue that everyone can learn from. Kudos to you :)

    -Mido (oh a great place for current environmental news/data and where I get a lot of my info is treehugger.com–it’s the best!)

  2. Lloyd Alter says:

    but the organic falafel was so good! and the corn pops! and the Italian tetrapak organic wine! and the air-water generator that uses megawatts of electricity to condense water out of the air like magic!

  3. VdUQElIPeHgMCTWBDT 1672

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