Environmentalism Benefits All by Dana Williams


Yes, here I am: another person telling you about the importance of being good to the environment. "Oh no!", you cry. "Not another Tree-Hugger!!" There appears to be a backlash in the US against many things, and one of them seems to be personal accountability. We all must realize that we are each individually accountable for the foreseeable effects of our decisions.

I'll be the first to admit that it doesn't seem like one person can make that big of a mess on their own-- because I've often thought this myself. But, then I think about how much I waste during a day, and then I think how the trash I deposit could fill up an ice-cream bucket. Then I imagine about 365 of those buckets filling up my bedroom, and then, suddenly, environmentalism becomes a very relevant matter.

Environmentalism, to me, is simply keeping in mind your natural environment and conducting your life in a fashion that does not cause harm to it. It's not very difficult (or as a cohort has said: "it ain't rocket science, folks!") and we each can do our part. Ya, that sounds very "We Are The World", but isn't it the truth? We have an obligation to protect ourselves, our neighbors, our enemies, and the multitudes of our successors from the dangers we are still creating.

There is also another angle to all of this, that involves a little bit more militancy: companies all over your hometown are constantly polluting, and we need to let them know that we do not support them in their profit-oriented business decisions that choke the environment. To find out who the bad-guys in your town are, check out the very informative watch-dog group at The Chemical ScoreCard. You can even use your zip code for easy searching. I found it ironic that the biggest polluters in my town were also some of the biggest employers and the biggest profit makers. Seems to me that they have the means to be safer, and owe it to their loyal employees not to mess things up for the community.

It is probable that the only way to convince some of these companies to stop polluting is to simply stop buying their products-- and let them know they are being boycotted and why! Vote with your dollars and convince others to do the same, and you may find that American democracy thrives around the dollar. If this means I don't buy Kodak film for my camera because in 1995 their Rochester, NY plant pumped out 7,953,315 pounds of crap into the environment, including carcinogens (cancer causing agents), developmental toxicants, neurotoxicants, kidney toxicants, respiratory toxicants, reproductive toxicants, etc., SO BE IT!! For the damage they are doing to New Yorkers, I'd be happy to take up sketching my pictures from now on!!

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle is, of course, always in vogue. Buy products that have the least amount of waste to them, that you can reuse for other purposes (the product and packaging), and that were made with "environmental-friendly" techniques.