As with any problem, a great counter measure against Climate Change is raising awareness. Many of us feel helpless, and idle living in a country whose leaders “have bigger problems to think of”‘*than the country’s eco-health. And that is why it is easier for our government to invest in fire fighting equipment, rather than invest in its prevention…
But I do not want to swerve from the subject here, though all is admittedly interlinked to the main topic. What I wanted to talk about was how can consumerism, and your personal buying behaviour affect climate change, and even corporate social responsibility? You as a single consumer, may today start a trend that will generate thousands of green practices in the future.
If that last phrase sounds surrealistic to you, keep reading!
The Laws of Supply & Demand
In Economics 101 we all learned about how the curve shifts when the demand for certain products rises above the supply curve. With time the market responds to increase the supply of in-demand items, while items on the decline of their life cycle are soon ousted out of the supply chain. So when you as a single consumer decide to buy solely green or greener products, even if they are initially unavailable in the market place, inevitably, if you stick to that consumer behavior, those products will find you! So thinking and buying Green will elicit other service and product vendors to think on the same brain wave on a large scale save the world? Don’t laugh, as a final argument on that point read Lebanon Opportunities article on how Going Green is profitable for Businesses.
So knowing that, what can you do?
- Learn more about what are the greener alternatives to products. There are so many things you can do here: Use roller deodorants rather than these CFC packed spray cans. Buy a smaller car, you’ll save up on the gas and help the environment. Buy eco-friendly energy saving light bulbs. And consider going meatless once a week.
- Buy fruits and vegetables in season.
- Try to eliminate product with bigger carbon footprints. For example go for local & organic foods as opposed to imported goods at all times. When standing in the supermarket we often think of imported products as better alternatives to local imitations, but think about their carbon footprint! I love this project by James Reynolds, called Far Foods which aims at raising awareness of the Carbon Footprint of imported goods and all goods in your shopping basket for that matter.
- If you can’t find greener products, always ask! Repetitive questions in the vendors’ mind equal business opportunities! Remember , demand generates supply and not the other way round.
- As first step, start buying less of those carbon points packed products!
… the list is endless
Have a Global Outlook on Your Lifestyle
As with products think about your day-to-day actions, and analyze them in terms of your carbon footprint:
- Do you really need to take that plastic bag for your two bars of chocolate that you are gonna eat now?
- If you are already using an eco-tote tell that cashier that pre-packing the items in plastic bags defeats the point! ( yes they truly do that! for them the eco-tote is another product and not an eco-tool)
- Try going to closer venues as opposed to those that need a longer commute
- Don’t jump into the car if your destination is 5 minutes away! Lebanese love luxury, but that is too much.
- If you see carbon negative behaviour expressed by others educate them.
- Don’t print, unless you need to & if you do make sure its economical.
- Turn off the lights when you can do without them, or light a candle when you are in a romantic mood.
- Washing your dishes with cold water in the summer, and taking cool showers is refreshing and eco-friendly.
- Think of investing in alternative energy sources for your home.
- Recycle, be it at home or at work…
- Something I am working very hard on is closing the water tap while brushing my teeth…
- Preach, bitch and moan to others regarding their non-ecofriendly behavior.
This list can go on and on forever… It’s amazing how much we can either do or don’t to pitch in. Remember being a good consumer, contrary to what corporate tycoons want us to believe, is about consuming less!
I honestly believe that if we teach by example and raise awareness around us, everyone around will have to give in as more and more people choose the green path, there will be pioneers even in our governments…
So why don’t we do something about it while we still can?
The Age of Stupid will be screened in Lebanon at Empire Sofil on the 25th & 26th of October.
Read also other Blog Action Day Posts by fellow Lebanese Bloggers:
* Liberal quote from someone in the Ministry of Environment that was voiced out to me by a journalist who was asking him how the government is encouraging corporate green practices.