Shopping is Important

Saturday, August 26, 2006

ShoppingisImportant has been on vacation. What do cartoonists and columnists do when they go on vacation? They recycle their old stuff. Even easier, I'm going to steal from my good friend Judwhy, who has some excellent suggestions for shopping and etc. Judwhy has a passion for making choices that are good for the Earth and loves to spread the word. Enjoy what remains of the summer!

1. Life Style Choices
• Buying locally-grown organic food so you’re healthier, workers aren’t exposed to pesticides, beneficial insects such as bees that pollinate much of our food aren’t inadvertently wiped out, and fossil fuels aren’t used to transfer the food from long distances
• Buying shade-grown coffee so that rainforests aren’t destroyed to grow coffee
• Buying clothes from Patagonia or American Apparel or other similar companies where the companies work to end abusive labor practices and strive to restore the earth
• Using public transportation or bicycles or walking to decrease CO2 emissions from automobiles
• Upgrading your home with insulation, solar panels, etc. to decrease your need for natural gas and electricity
2. Working with Government
• Encouraging your mayor to join other mayors across the country in recognizing the potential threats of global warming
• Encouraging your city to make walking and bike riding safer
• Helping to establish laws that will encourage use of alternatives to fossil fuels
3. Educating Yourself
• A few books of interest:
• Let My People Go. . . Surfing by Yvonne Chouinard [the man who started the Patagonia stores], The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery [not the baseball player!], Biomimicry by Janine Benyus
• A few magazines of interest:
• UTNE Reader, Natural Home, ODE (haven’t actually read it, but just received a recommendation for it – includes uplifting stories about successful attempts to restore the earth), Home Power
4. Educating Others
• Teaching kids at school, at home, or in their group activities
• Talking to neighbors
• Talking with friends
• Working with your congregation
• Planting trees to absorb CO2, decrease run off, cool the area, etc.
• Getting your book group to read books about the environment
5. Giving Money or Volunteering
• Natural Resources Defense Council (uses law, science, and the support of more than 1 million members and activists to protect the planet's wildlife)
• Tree People (enlists the community to plant trees in Los Angeles to restore watersheds and fragile habitats, bring neighbors together, revitalize inner-city communities, coos and green campuses, and address serious urban issues including water and energy conservation, flood prevention and stormwater pollution.)
• Heiffer International (a non-profit organization whose goal is to help end world hunger and poverty through self-reliance & sustainability)
• Coop America (provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to address today's social and environmental problems)