July/August 2008 Editor's Blog
Go Green This Summer
by Vicky Thompson
Go Green This Summer
Pogo, the unforgettable possum character in Walt Kelly's comic strip, stared at a large pile of trash, littering his swamp home near the Mississippi River bayous.
"We have met the enemy, and he is us," Pogo said when he realized that it was the very inhabitants of the bayous who were destroying his natural home.
As the people of the Earth, we are the enemy - the destroyers - as well as the ally - the creators. How we choose to live our lives affects our neighbors and the world. As gas and food prices soar, more than ever we are faced with critical choices in how to live consciously. Living green is no longer a slogan, but a necessity for ourselves and the world.
I'm reminded of high school science lectures on symbiosis, which means living together when two are different but benefit in some way from the relationship. We have seen ourselves as dominant over the earth, but we must have a cooperative relationship with our natural world in order to survive.
Conscious living is about choosing how to live in symbiosis with our environment. And it can be the simple choices that make a big difference. This summer, try these simple green goals from the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC), which offers helpful resources for conscious living.
Green at home: Use green power for your home. According to OEC, 40 percent of the electricity used by Northwest residents still comes from the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels like coal and gas, which creates air pollution, habitat destruction and carbon dioxide emissions. Consider buying green power from your utility provider, which uses more environmentally friendly solar, wind and geothermal resources.
Green at work: OEC has a simple suggestion to cut your bill at the pump: Don't drive one in five - join the once a week club. Employees can leave their car at home just once a week. This can be less daunting than completely giving up solo car commutes.
Green at the table: Subscribe to a community supported agriculture farm (CSA). Subscribers to CSAs pay up front for a share of the produce harvested from a particular farm. Visit www.localharvest.org to find Northwest CSAs, family farms, farmers markets and other sources of sustainably grown food.
Ready for more green tips? Visit OEC at www.oeconline.org.
- Vicky Thompson
Heart of the Issue
Your actions matter. Let your choices serve the world.