Many of us take our first step on the path towards a more sustainable life for the most selfish reason of all: our own health. We don’t want hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides in our milk, so we bite the bullet and buy organic. That first step raises our awareness, and soon we are buying organic vegetables, too. After all, now that we have clean milk, why eat lettuce with pesticides?
Then one day we bite into an organic apple and come to startling realization: What’s good for our health is also good for the health of our planet. That apple is not only better for our health, but dramatically better for the apple tree, the soil where it grows, and even the water used to nourish the tree. Suddenly the selfish desire for a healthier life becomes a positive force for planetary health.
This new awareness about the power of our consumer choices creates a powerful new way to look at our purchase decisions. We start factoring in the larger impacts of what we choose to buy, and find that this “better for you, better for the planet” rule does not stop with food.
Examples abound: Natural cleaning products work just as well as the ones that you have to lock up from your kids just before you spray them into the air that they breathe. Cotton uses 25% of the world’s pesticides on just 3% of the world’s crop land. Organic cotton clothing prevents pesticides from entering both the environment and your body as the cloth touches your skin. Natural personal care products are made without petroleum. Recycled products prevent destruction of natural resources, without any tradeoff in functionality. Driving a fuel-efficient car saves gas money and carbon emissions at the same time.
A healthier life for you and for the planet. That’s living green.