Thursday, September 23, 2010

Think Globally, Act Locally

Green, Eco-friendly, Organic, Carbon Footprint, Natural.

All words that are thrown around a lot these days. What does it all mean and what can I do without breaking the bank? I'm trying to figure that out myself. Here are some things that I have learned:

1) Put your money where your mouth is: Buying local and organic food is pretty much the definition of thinking globally and acting locally. You are saving the earth from the carbon emissions that it would take to transport the food from another state/country. There is your global. You are supporting the economy of your local area by supporting the farmer that grew the food you are purchasing. There is your local. If you can't get organic local food, the next best thing is to get plain old local.

2) Re-purpose or donate: Just don't throw away. Every day more and more stuff is piled up in landfills. What happens when we have no more landfills to fill? We will be living in a world of garbage. When you want to throw something away, ask yourself: is there something else I can use this for or can it be donated to a local Salvation Army or Goodwill. Here is an example: I follow a blog that recently posted a great re-purpose for an old T-shirt. She took the t-shirt, cut it up and remade it into a newborn gown with the elastic on the bottom. The end result was so cute. If you can sew, there is no reason you should ever throw out any piece of fabric. Just think of the quilt you can make with your old clothes! That is thinking globally. Acting locally comes into play when you make donations to local thrift shops and goodwill. Those clothes sitting in your closet, waiting for you to lose 10 lbs. for you to fit into again? Donate them. Someone in your local community that is not as fortunate as you might benefit from them instead of them sitting in your closet, never seeing the light of day.

3) Not all organic is created equal. I recently started purchasing organic dairy products in place of the non-organic dairy that I have been buying for years, after seeing the deplorable conditions that the animals are kept in the documentary "Food Inc." I tried a few different brands of organic milk and my husband commented how one particular brand did not taste good at all. I decided to do a bit of research and I discovered this fabulous website: The Cornucopia Institute This independent organization researches and rates organic dairy, organic eggs and infant formula. Not surprisingly, the milk my husband complained about received a 0 rating from the study, the worst rating a dairy farm can get. Obviously, I do not purchase that milk anymore. There is also an org chart on the website that shows consumers what brands of "natural" and "organic" foods are actually owned by big name corporations that you see in the supermarket every day. It is pretty amazing how much of the food that we buy and eat is owned by this handful of companies. Gives you something to think about.

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