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Recession is Boon for Green Movement

By Tracy Crawford
May 18, 2009
File under: Carbon Emissions, Economy, Green Practices


In this tough economy people are forced to cut expenses to the very basics of lifestyle choices. It’s gone beyond eating out less and not going to the cinema.

More time is now spent deciding on how to curb our drive time to save gas. Turning off lights when not needed – and sometimes even when we normally would think we need them on – can be an obsession.

Gas and electric bills are closely monitored so that maybe we’ll put on a sweater or open the windows rather than spending the extra dollars on our utility bills.

To save the cost of water, we wash more dishes by hand, or maybe we take less and shorter showers.

We opt to use natural substances we already have in our house, such as vinegar and baking soda, in lieu of buying the more expensive household chemical cleaners. This is an obvious green choice both for household health and planetary health.

Shopping for our clothes in consignment has become a reality for many folks who wouldn’t have dreamed of doing this before. This is one of the best examples of reuse that we have.

Reducing consumption is arguably the first thing we need to do to go green. Now that people are forced to live more simply, we can see that we really don’t need as much as we were consuming during the good times.

A very positive effect from a seemingly dire situation is the reduction of carbon emissions, around the world from factories closing down.

It is true that funding for clean tech ventures has gone down due to the economy, but at a personal and grass roots level, there is a deeper understanding of what we need versus what we want and how this has an impact on the environment.

It is also true that many of us don’t have the extra money to buy organic and go for the cheaper, conventional option instead to save money.

In this case, we need to get creative and look at other ways to save and continue (or even start) to buy organic and sustainable foods. We need to continue to send the message to conventional growers and producers that what we put on our tables is worth the extra cost even in hard times.

We can use this bad lemon called the economy to make lemonade for our planet, as well as for our individual and collective selves. Sometimes it may require creativity, but in many instances it happens organically from the need for thrift.

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