Green Spot: Ethics of Not Being Green

I will admit:  I use a dishwasher detergent that is harmful for the environment and I know it.  Why? Because the green version costs too much money!  I can literally buy a six month supply of the non-green product for as much as 1 month supply for the green product.  I did try the green product.  So I like being green, but I’m not willing to pay six times the price to do it every month!

Welcome to the slippery slope of ethics and being green.  This is likely one of the most painful facts of trying to be a little nicer to the environment.  Some things are easily, for example CFL lights are now fairly cheap and over the life of the bulb they save you money.  How long do they last?  Well I bought my first one about seven years ago now and I have yet to change out a light bulb and given the energy savings I’m damn sure I’ve made my money back.

I know people don’t get why I take the bus some days.  They believe it takes so long and what’s the point when I can easily afford to drive a car I already own.  Well to me it’s cheaper than buying gas for my car, I get some reading done on the trip, I don’t have to scrap the windows in the winter or warm up the car and it saves me from needing a second car a lot of the time between my wife and I.  It’s a matter of what you believe.

Yet where does the line start and stop.  What’s just being lazy and what really matters?  In the end you could read a mountain of books and blogs to try and figure it all out, but the reality is ethics are personal.  What’s ok to you won’t be for someone else.  The more important thing is to try out new things.  For example, I just bought last week my first organic local ground beef.  Yes it cost more, but if I like the taste I’m willing to give it a try.  I keep pushing my limits to find out where they really are.  Green isn’t a place, it’s a journey.

One thought on “Green Spot: Ethics of Not Being Green”

  1. I don’t know why it’s not talked about more, but Canada I believe has about 24 tonnes of CO2 per person of emissions. Much of our energy usage comes from heating our homes. Mandate that all homes must have south facing peaks with solar heating accounting for 50% of all heat energy usage. Bang, HUGE reduction in our per capita use. (Also, switch to natural gas, another huge one. Ban any new sales of oil furnaces).

    The next huge thing we can do is eat less meat. A vegan diet produces about 0.2 tonnes of CO2 per year. A fairly normal omnivore uses about 2.2 tonnes just for eating. Bang, second huge reduction.

    I guess since these things don’t “feel good” they will never be on the green agenda, and instead we will rely on CFLs which arguably don’t save any energy at all in the winter anyway.

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