As many of you know, I am a large proponent of living green. In fact it is one of my newest passions. Both my husband and I have been working on converting our home to a green home, one that is free of chemicals and toxins that are bad for us as well as the environment. We have also been working on saving energy by installing a programmable thermostat, keeping our temperatures cooler in winter, and unplugging electronics when they are not in use. I quite enjoy the challenge, but this last week I have found myself asking the question ‘Are my efforts futile?’
It all started with a conversation with a family member a few days ago. We were talking about my new vegetarian diet with the aim of going completely vegan. I was sharing with them the reasons why I was making this lifestyle change. Apart from the obvious health benefits and the adversion to supporting commercial farming, I am doing this to be green. Did you know that commercial farming is the largest producer of greenhouse gases? Anyways, as the conversation went on,the family member said this “Until China and India start cleaning up their act, I don’t see a point in putting forth all of this green effort. What really is it going to accomplish?” As we discussed this further, they explained to me why they felt this way. “When one third of this planet’s population is participating in non-green activities and polluting our atmosphere, what does it matter if I throw away some extra gargbage?”
These statements really got me thinking. In some ways, I can see their point of view. When over 2 billion people are creating pollution at such a rampant rate, what kind of influence do the green activities of a few hundred thousand have?
I am well aware that not everyone in Canada or the USA live an eco friendly life, so when looking at these figures and at the number comparison of 200,000 (estimation): 2,000,000,000, I can’t help but ask myself if my efforts are futile? Is it just a matter of time before this planet dies?
Do I really have the power to change the future for my children by using reusable shopping bags, by not eating meat, by turning off my lights, by making my own compost and growing veggies, etc? Are my efforts even going to make the slightest bit of change?
I guess, the honest answer is, I don’t know. I really don’t know if the small changes I have made in my life will amount to any environmental benefit in the future, but interestingly, that doesn’t make me want to stop. I like knowing that I am setting an example and doing my part. I am a strong believer in accountability and responsibility and I live my life accordingly. I do enjoy using green beauty products and green cleaners. I love the taste of organic produce and fresh homemade goods. I know I would miss those things if they disappeared out of my life. I am truly hooked on green living.
So what do you think? Are our green efforts futile or can we together build a momentum that motivates others to live as we do so that our planet actually has a chance at survival?