So here’s an easy way to integrate green living into daily life: go shopping! Rather than bend over backwards to scrape up enough money for a donation or do large sum donations (not that I am discouraging that at all, but I realize it isn’t always possible to be as generous as you wish), you can easily support local and/or fair quality businesses and the products they produce by choosing carefully what you really need to buy and where you want your money to go.
When consumers let companies or businesses know that they want goods that are made sustainably and in a way that protects workers and the environment, companies respond to that consumer demand. Do yourself, your community, and your planet a favor and look for better options when shopping. Speaking of options, Japan has some amazing recycle shops (secondhand stores) where I can buy things I need for my household at a fraction of the price. As I’ve learned with the number of hand beaters and irons my family went through, after my mom’s original wedding gifts from 1981 crapped out a few years back, new is not always better. So check out your local secondhand stores!
Last weekend I bought myself a “new” dress for about $6. It’s a great way to recycle and avoid contributing any more waste materials by consumption.
Check out the Story of Stuff for a compelling reason to examine your levels of consumerism.
For any one who is interested, I just made last month’s round of donations to these organizations:
Oceana.org – saving our oceans from being treated like a toilet (my words, not Oceana’s) and spreading the word about sustainable seafood
The Central Asia Institute – community-based education, especially for girls
Concern Worldwide – relief for the current food crisis in West Africa
Returning Veterans Project – helping veterans address the physical, emotional and psychological challenges of coming home