In the last post we looked at the costs of green living compared to the worth of green living – two very different issues that people tend to muddle up. Below is why green living matters to me…
1. Green living and eco-friendly products are better for my son’s health and beyond that healthier for the planet he lives on:
- Organic foods and green body care products are chemical and pesticide (i.e. poison-free). I don’t hand over toxic chemicals and poisons to my son as a snack or let him roll in them; why would I let him eat foods that are grown in them or rub them into his hair?
- Organic products don’t deposit massive amounts of pesticides into the soil, air and water – all of which my son comes into contact with regularly.
- Getting outside and reconnecting with nature (in my opinion a green living act) is healthier than sitting on your butt in front of a video game.
- Why would I want my son to be exposed to BPA or lead or any number of chemicals that you can easily avoid by purchasing green products.
- Riding your bike or walking once in a while vs. driving is good exercise.
- Trees are healthy – I say we shouldn’t mess with them as much as we do.
- Healthy indoor air quality due to green building and other green products you buy (shower curtains, paint, and so on) keeps your entire home and family healthier.
- Don’t get me started on how deadly conventional cleaners can be.
This is actually a super long argument – that green is better for your health. Some green products offer more health benefits than others. For example, organic soy candles are a little healthier than wax candles, but in the grand scheme of things organic foods are healthier to budget for than say all soy candles. That said most of the green choices I make have a lot to do with keeping my son and his planet healthy.
2. Green products support my general common sense:
- Common sense tells me that it’s super stupid to test on animals – and don’t think it’s because I’m some nut for animals. Animals are fine and all but here’s a human tip; if something is so dangerious that a company feels they can’t test it on humans well, isn’t that sort of a, “Duh I shouldn’t use this on my skin or around my child” moment?
- Common sense tells me that it’s insane to put chemicals in things when I know they don’t need chemicals to work – i.e. cleaners and food and lotion.
- Common sense REALLY tells me that cleaning with chemicals does not equal clean – what this equals is a home full of chemicals.
- Common sense makes me wonder why anyone would knowingly want to eat poison or slather it on their skin when there’s another choice.
3. Green living educates others:
By taking the time to research products and make sure they’re actually green, by buying green products, by supporting companies who make green products, I’m making a statement in a private way but I’m also making a statement to others, like to my girlfriend who doesn’t think twice about the plastic baby bottle she gives her child or my friend who won’t recycle. To get others on board, it’s smart to live as green as you can. No one is perfect but the green choices you pick do rub off on others.
4. Green products are good tools for teaching kids about green:
Green living topics like global warming, emissions, and health benefits of zero-VOCs are all very abstract to kids. However, pull out an eco-toy, reusable ice pop molds or cloth napkins and it’s easy to talk to kids about green living. Green products are seriously worth the cash with regards to kids.
Kids who grow up with eco-products and who participate in discussions about why we choose green products over another more easily understand green living issues. My son Cedar, for instance, when he was seven years old couldn’t tell you much about the greenhouse effect but he could have easily told you why cloth napkins are better than paper or why cheap plastic toys suck from a recycling and value stand point. For kids, green products are like a gateway drug to green living.
5. Green products won’t ever go up in availability or down in price if I (well we) don’t support them:
If I don’t buy green, if other people don’t buy green well then guess what – companies won’t make green products. Like any supply and demand deal, green products have costs related to their popularity or demand. If everyone bought green school supplies vs. toxic, resource draining, cheap school supplies then manufactures would try to meet that demand with more readily available products and much better competitive prices. If people choose to ban non-ethical companies those companies would change their ways.
Companies who make products really do make products with their consumers in mind. If we buy from companies who greenwash or who continue to sell lame toxic products companies will keep on doing what they’re doing. If we don’t demand better green product standards, of course companies won’t need to change because consumers just don’t care. As consumers we seriously directly affect the products on the shelves and their costs.
6. Green products are good for my budget and actually save me money:
Although green products can cost more at first, many can save you money in the long run. Reusable products and home efficiency products are the two best examples of this. For example, you can buy paper towels, foil, school lunch sacks, paper napkins, plastic wrap, OR you can buy reusable options of these same products ONCE that last for years and years.
You can invest in a solar panel set-up for your home, build a water barrel, or buy more expensive but also more efficient light bulbs and eventually you’ll reap some payback rewards by lowering energy and water costs. At the same time, longer lasting products save you money because you’ll spend less time running around replacing them and for many of us, time is money.
7. Green products support how I feel about nature:
- I’ve been to some amazingly beautiful places on this planet. I’d like to see them stick around.
- Is it ok to dump oil in the ocean or trash in the sand or cut down age-old forests to build a McMansion? Not so much. There has to be a better way to live in harmony with nature and as a collective humans aren’t doing this very well. Green living supports nature better and being able to enjoy nature matters to me. I’m not up for seeing concrete as far as the eye can see and one day I’d like my grandchildren to be able to see forests and clean lakes.
- I think the world has been around a long time and it’s insane that we feel like it’s ok to trash it just because we want more, more, more stuff or overly clean sinks or shiny hair.
TO SUM UP – I do think green living is very worth it. I’m not perfectly green (who is) but because green living is worth something to me I try to make eco-friendly choices.
What is green living worth to you?