Easy Eco Choices

Easy Eco Choices

By Hanna Morris

 

Many people become disillusioned when they are bombarded with issues relating to the natural world. With the current poor economic situation, the environment seems to be a trivial concern. These people become overwhelmed, and as a result, uninterested. What most people don’t realize is how easy it is to make the right choice that will benefit both themselves and the planet.

For almost every product out there, there is another that is equal in quality but more environmentally sound. There are many websites, such as EWG.org (Environmental Working Group), that offer assistance to shoppers who wish to purchase more eco-friendly products. From cleaning supplies to school supplies, there are an infinite amount of options for those who want to buy greener merchandise.

“Going green” is also a way to live a healthier life. Alternate energy, for example, is salutary for both the environment and human health. The health consequences caused by natural gas and oil are extremely malignant. Not only is the pollution expelled through the use of these energy sources harmful, but the processes by which to retrieve these resources are also equally damaging. In order to retrieve natural gas, for example, toxic chemicals must be pumped into the ground through a process known as fracking. The people who live near the sites where fracking is conducted have experienced severe health deteriorations as a result of drinking tap water taken from local underground sources.

People have the ability to reduce their consumption of environmentally unsound energy sources such as natural gas, oil and coal every day. Those who are unable to make an immediate switch to alternate energy methods can still make a difference. Turn off the lights in rooms that aren’t occupied, switch to energy-efficient bulbs, properly seal windows and doors in order to retain heat or AC, avoid using lamps when natural lighting is enough to see, unplug devices that aren’t being used- there are an endless amount of green choices for homeowners (see greenhomeguide.com for a more comprehensive list). It’s all about making a choice.

Something as simple as eliminating the consumption of meat every Monday can minimize the continuation of climate change in addition to reducing a person’s risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. The national campaign, Meatless Mondays in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, reveals the destructive human health and environmental impacts of meat consumption. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, states that one-fifth of all manmade carbon emissions are produced through livestock farming. Decreasing the size of the enormous meat industry will therefore benefit both public and environmental health. With a vegetarian meal once a week, American families can make a meaningful difference. 

The Crimson also recognizes the need to make the right choice, the responsible choice, and make the BHS newspaper eco-friendly. This year, we are going to print our issues through a sustainable printing company that uses recycled paper, low-energy printers, and are dedicated to green business practices. We are committed to doing all we can to minimize our impact on the natural environment.

             The 4th Annual Green Community Festival, to be held at Liberty Park in Peapack-Gladstone, has adopted the concept of “choice” as the theme for this year’s festival. For those of you who want to live a greener, healthier and more responsible life, attend the Green Community Festival on Saturday October 30th (rain date: October 31st) from 11am to 4pm and learn more about what choices you have. A more environmentally conscious lifestyle is both rewarding and easy to maintain. It is all about making easy choices.

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