Everything and everyone are “going green” these days, or so it seems. I think this is great, don’t get me wrong, but in the haste to get on the eco-train, I believe some quality may be getting left behind, the truth getting stifled along the way.
To illustrate, take an issue a couple of years ago. Stuck in as a rider to the 2006 Agricultural Appropriations Bill (a bill for which most congresspeople won’t vote against) is a section that includes a lowering of the standards for organic certification. At the same time, the Organic Consumer’s Association was warning the organic regulars about the issue, warning that corporations were supporting the bill so that they, too, could enter the organic market, so long as a few ingredients were okay to use. The bill passed, and now the USDA Organic stamp is seen more often, especially on foods processed by major corporations. Check your local mega-store shelves. A lot more “organic” products, but at what cost? Now the same mega-stores demand quantity from farmers used to providing quality, but said stores want to set their low price. Do the small farmers have much of a choice? To meet the demands, will their quality be the same as before? Will their quality of life be the same? Their code of ethics?
A long rant, I know, but it’s an important issue to my family. Our budget is tight, and we’re having to pull the reins even tighter these days. We’re going to re-read Your Money or Your Life, read our Simple Dollar RSS feeds daily, and put suggestions into practice. In doing so, however, we know that chemical-, additive-, carcinogen-free goods are what we want for our family, so that is high on our priority list. So is education and right living.
Is this easy? No. Media would have you go to the store, driving the same vehicles, using the same gas, buying your same products (though now with an organic stamp on them) and spending, spending, spending. Don’t think about it too much, just “buy healthier.” If you do this, you will spend a fortune and go back to your old ways because you can’t afford it . . . unless, of course, you’re very affluent, in which case you especially need to think about what you are really doing.
We all have a role to play in preserving our planet. Our kids need to learn the facts, the truths that are out there. They need to know where things come from — from the clothes they wear to the food they eat to the information they receive — and not just from major corporate sponsors. They need to know their power in their community. They need to see us, their parents, doing what is right and playing a part in setting up a better future for them so that when
it’s their time, they will feel
empowered to create the world they want to live in. This
is why we devote time as
Earth Scouts facilitators; the program encourages and
practices these principles.
Do all kids care? Aren’t they happy to eat their value meals, play their games, watch their t.v.? What do you see around you? How many parents do you know who are getting involved in our current crises? Are you honestly surprised by the children’s behavior?
We all have to wake up. We can’t just believe what we see on t.v. and read in the newspapers. We have to let our consciousness rise. We have to listen to the small voice within that tells us what is right. We have to act on what is right so that voice will get louder until it makes it hard to do what is easy and often not in our best interest.
We have to forgive ourselves. We’ve let ourselves become numb. We let ourselves be fed untruths. We have to forgive ourselves . . . our parents . . . our teachers.
We have to pray, read, learn, grow, work and awaken every day. True sustainability can happen, but it will only happen one individual at a time. It’s hard but possible. Listen to the small voice within, the Spirit that connects you to others, to the earth, to all. Do what is right, taking one small step at a time.
I’m walking with you.