Since the argument for and against climate change has gained more speed in the past couple years, people are becoming more aware of what’s happening on the earth around us. These global changes, however, have been happening for hundreds of thousands of years as part of a cycle. In more recent times, global warming (happening through the hole in the ozone, polar ice caps melting, rising sea levels, and increasing temperatures) has become a common phenomena with many people saying “Oh, the result must be global warming,” or “It’s hot because of global warming.” The words “global warming” are widely used, but how much of the actual problem is being recognized?
I went to the mall the other day to get some scrubs for work, and while I was there I noticed how green everything was. Green for green, if you will. Handbags, countless t-shirts, wristbands, necklaces, socks, posters, bracelets, flip flops, and tons of more merchandise shared the same words “Go Green,” “Respect Your Mother,” “Save the Planet,” etc. Being “green” and environmentally friendly isn’t in the interest of the environment; it’s in the interest of manipulating a global awareness trend into a marketable venue.
This wouldn’t be too much of a bad thing if this awareness was actually getting somewhere. Most of the t-shirts and handbags made in the name of “eco-friendly” ideas were made in very unfriendly, polluting ways. Just by looking at the tags of the products alone, you see “made in ______.” Insert China, India, Brazil, Indonesia at your convenience. Items traveling from China go over 9,000 or more miles to get to my mall in Elmira, NY. More than ten tons of CO2 is dumped into the atmosphere for each load of clothing or tote bags. Not to mention the materials of which the clothing and totes are made. How does this make it more environmentally-friendly?
I fully support spreading awareness, but how effective is this awareness? By wearing a t-shirt that says “I recycle” makes the statement that obviously you recycle. But, then you go home with your smoothie from the mall and throw out your plastic smoothie container when you’re finished. It’s recyclable; you can surmise this from the recycling sign and a number on the bottom. If it’s recyclable, why aren’t you recycling it? It’s one thing to claim to the general public that you’re eco-friendly, and it’s another thing to actually be eco-friendly. If you’re going to represent the trend, represent it! Offset the carbon footprint from buying that t-shirt through www.carbonfund.org. Buy from local vendors. Research where the items you buy come from and where you can find some of the same products closer. Do something in the movement!
A movement starts with awareness, but it needs action to actually move.
Do the research and help move society into an actual “eco-friendly” atmosphere.