Thursday, January 8, 2009

Impact Tip - An eco-movement and you

This is likely be my only "soapbox" post as I tend not to use my professional blog to unload a lot of personal opinions but I was at the gym and it occurred to me while watching the news, that there is a lot going on right now about what it is to be eco-friendly, green, tree hugger, whatever they call it. One thing I see happening is that with the beginning of anything mainstream, comes a lot of propaganda. Propaganda in my experience tends to encourage you to follow along despite your potential lack of knowing why, or it makes you head in the opposite direction simply to not be following or be mainstream. Although the environmental movement itself is long in the making, the popularization of all things green is relatively new. You will hear lots of people saying things like, "if you care...", "if you are eco-friendly you will do...", "how could you drive that...", "I can't believe she does...". This is what this post is about, our choices...OUR choices.

I feel it is imperative that this trend stays in its intended purpose of becoming aware of our choices, have a generous spirit and attitude of giving and sharing, and being more involved in our community. This means that if you have never thought about it before, start thinking and seeing around you how your choices impact your community and world. But it does not mean, feel guilty, become vegan, you're bad if you don't plan a green wedding, or that there is some sort of "right" way to be. I think that attitude tends to isolate more than bring together and caring about our environment is more than caring about trees or fuzzy creatures that we all adore. It's about remembering that we are all connected so our choices affect our families, our community, our world, and most importantly our future generations who are counting on us to leave them some of the beauty and connectedness that is our complex ecosystems. It is not that it is just a responsibility as it is a privilege, a gift, an opportunity.

Environmentalists have been waiting for a day when being "green" would become a focus of mainstream life, but as with all trends, they attract the good and the bad. If we are aware of our choices and don't just follow along, we are less likely to get caught in the greenwashing that comes along with green trends. Continue to question what people tell you is green, ask why! What makes you different and how have your new practices made any impact. Don't just settle for a green label.

On the other plus side, being eco-responsible is really only good for your health and pocketbook too. In a time where everyone is talking about the economy, we can help the economy by buying local, reducing our energy usage which puts more money in our pocket and thus out into the economy, creates jobs by focusing on new energy methods, supports local farmers who will in turn put back into our own economy. Walk more to save gas and burn calories. Eat whole foods and as locally as possible. There are limitless choices you can make that benefit you physically, financially, and socially responsibly by making the environmentally friendly choice.

But in the end, it is still your choice. Don't let anyone take it away from you or guilt or pressure you into a choice that will make you unhappy. Every choice comes with an action that will hurt one and benefit another. The important thing to remember is that you have at least become more aware that you do have choices and some will fit right in, some will require a stretch, and some just aren't possible with your life so don't feel bad about not doing them. I want solar panels, but I just can't afford that right now, so I just try to turn my lights off and heat down at night and that is all I can do for now.

As for Vrai, we are continuing to find new products that will reduce our impact on the environment because we do care and find it to be an amazing opportunity to be able to give back. We are so thankful for our couples who are partnering with us in this mission by choosing us. We are going to be offering 3 new albums that are eco-friendly books, 2 of which are the first green albums in the industry. We are switching to recycled paper CD sleeves instead of plastic and continuing to work with printers offering eco-friendly options and local printers for many of our needs.

Stay tuned to the blog for our newest additions to Vrai! I hope you find them as exciting as we do.

So for 2009, as you plan out your goals, take a step to becoming more aware, even if that step is the first step of awareness. If you are already thinking about your impact, think about a small step you can take incrementally (whether it is weekly, monthly, annually) to increase your positive impact on your community and your world.

That's all for now :)

1 comment:

emilie inc. said...

Beautifully written, Tina!