Going Green

[This next Earth Week post comes from @myogis on Twitter who’s running the Halifax Geophotwography contest with me until the end of the month. If you’re interested in winning great eco-books from Random House of Canada, check out the details on the Halifax Tweetup wiki.]

By Michelle Yogis

OK…I knew I was going to write this guest post for about a month now and though I did think about it in earnest and had great intentions to write it early…this past month was extremely busy with work, turning 40 and various tweet-ups. In a way I feel that it is fitting that I procrastinated in writing this post for “EARTH WEEK” since the whole idea behind “EARTH WEEK” seems to be one that 99.9999% of us in the ‘civilized’ world are late to the party for. We can recycle our cans/bottles, separate our garbage and buy hybrid vehicles all we want but it’s kind of like giving someone with a debilitating migraine an aspirin as we hammer away at our next project.

Mother Earth has been very upset with us (see natural disasters becoming more prevalent)….and well she should be! The human race has walked this planet for thousands of years and in the last three generations we have brought it to the brink. We are a society of convenience. I don’t think about where/how the electricity that I use to run my computer or turn on my lights comes from…just that it is there when I want it. We buy coffee at local coffee shops (you may have gone through the drive-thru), get take-out food in Styrofoam containers and buy things that are over packaged. And, yet, just one week each year we are asked to think about it. We don’t want to think about it, however, because at this stage of the game it is a freakin’ mess and it is sad to think that the ones who must do the bulk of the clean-up are still in diapers and/or not yet conceived.

Photographed at the 2009 Washington DC Auto Show

Photographed at the 2009 Washington DC Auto Show

I read a quotation on Twitter the other day (and I should have saved it in my “fav quotes’ folder”, ‘cause now I’ll get it wrong and not give proper credit where credit is due) which said that “taking a step forward is not progress when you are standing at the edge of a cliff.” It’s time to save the future by stepping back and ask…”where can I start?” In a way…we have started but there is a mountain to be moved and sometimes I think it would be easier to build a time machine so we can go back 50-70 years or so and start people thinking about what has become our reality. If necessity is the mother of invention then we should see ‘greener’ products available for all aspects of life. Oh, wait, they are available now…they’re just cost prohibitive! Perhaps a place to start is for business to offer less choice of environmentally unfriendly products in order to boost the sales and bring the costs down on the products that are friendlier! Get rid of the Hummer and mass produce the Volt! (maybe that will save GM)

In the meantime….think about “EARTH WEEK” as being every week. Traditional media doesn’t offer the gloom and doom stories much in any other week. Let’s face it, stories about the environment are scary these days. Though we shouldn’t become ‘doomsday’ believers, we should keep an eye on what’s going on. You can do this by reading articles posted on the web (like this study) or by following sites like @greenbizdaily on Twitter.

FYI…tomorrow I’m using my travel mug again when I get my coffee.

Michelle Yogis is an inventory manager, starting up a skin-care line with a friend (still working on it), a just-for-fun singer/songwriter who wishes to improve guitar skills!


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