I have an online subscription to ‘The Ecologist’ – a fantastic source of information on all things environmental. The only problem is that I usually end up being depressed every time I log in. There are so many articles on all the things that are going wrong: global warming, disappearing wildlife, scary farming methods, lack of natural resources, mountains of waste etc, etc.
It always make me wonder if our efforts are in vain, are we actually too late.
After my last visit to the magazine I decided I needed something a bit more uplifting, so I decided to have a look for happy green information – there has to be hope somewhere. It is incredible the amount of informative, uplifting, strange or totally bizarre information you can find, once you start looking.
I also came across an article on Tetra paks (you know, juice cartons etc). They are often named as bad for the environment, because they are a mixed product and therefore difficult to recycle, but according to this Ecologist article, they are in fact much better than tins and cans, because the materials can be split easily and are much easier to recycle. That is good to know.
Obviously you would still be better off cycling, because studies show that regular cycling will increase your life expectancy by a few years, even if you are already doing other forms of exercise. That made me feel very smug as I have indeed been on my bike a few times this week… http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1185.html
Apparently it is international downshifting week 24th-30th April. Downshifting is about re evaluating the way you live, slowing down and enjoying life more. Definitely a worthy initiative. Most of the suggestions were quite straight forward like starting a compost heap, cook a seasonal organic meal, switch off the TV and read a book instead – only one suggestion made me jump: cut up a credit card! Help, do I need to give up on my credit card as well to be a proper green… http://downshiftingweek.wordpress.com/
Well if I can’t have a credit card I guess I can’t try out some of the countless eco gadgets out there. Isn’t there something completely ironic about the wealth of websites dedicated to selling eco products, such as solar powered fairy lights, when in fact it would be much greener if we just stopped consuming so much altogether.
But then there was something very interesting: A study from a Toronto university suggests that green consumers are more likely to steal and cheat. Apparently the theory is that people who take green action feel they have done good already, so they deserve something in return. Hmm, that is quite disturbing, hopefully they will do some more research with a different conclusion. http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/are-green-consumers-less-tr…
So how did I feel after my little search, well other than being slightly concerned that I am turning into a thief and a cheat, it did cheer me up. It is good to know that you can be green without drowning yourself in depressing predictions – long live happy news.