Ecological intelligence – how knowing the hidden impacts of what we buy can change everything

Jan 10, 2013 by

 1/10/13  Guest Blogger
 

Although the green movement is rising every day, we are still destroying our planet faster than every before. For those of you readers who do not know what the green movement is, it is basically the heightened awareness of consumers about their impact on the environment with respect to their lifestyle choices and the purchases that they make. Continue to read the rest of this article to become more informed on the hidden impacts of what we buy and how it can change the state of the environment.

Your Carbon Footprint
Many of you have heard the term “Carbon Footprint” but may not know what it truly means. It is basically a measurement of the amount of Carbon Dioxide that you let out because of the lifestyle choices that you make and the products that you buy. In order to be more sustainable, you will want your Carbon Footprint to be as low as possible.

First it is important to know what goes into creating your Carbon Footprint. The things that are taken into account when determining your Carbon Footprint are things like how much you drive ever day, the gas mileage of your car, whether or not you recycle, if you make a habit of purchasing green or organic products, if your energy use is efficient, and many more. Basically, it boils down to how much energy and natural resources you use and waste. The impact on the environment is obvious. For example, if you are driving less your Carbon Footprint goes down and the negative emissions into the environment from your car decrease, causing a positive impact on the environment.

Organic Foods
A lot of consumers are unsure about the benefits of buying Organic foods, and many are under the impression that it is simply a marketing ploy. They are wrong, however, because there are several benefits to buying organic foods. The first is that they are void of harsh chemicals, making them safer and healthier to consume. The second is that they have a positive effect on the environment. Organic foods are harvested or produced in a way that is least harmful to the environment. This preserves nature and allows for more production without depleting natural resources.

Local Products
Local products are beneficial in a more logistic way than organic foods. The benefit of buying local is that there was no transportation damage to the environment. For example, the difference between buying locally made jam versus Smuckers jam is that Smuckers jam was transported cross-country to arrive in the store where you can buy it. This means that there were large amount of gas emissions from the truck that transported them. While this not seem like a huge deal, the mass quantities of Jam, and other goods that are transported add up to make a large impact.

Green Products
Green Products are different than organic and local generally because of the type of product they are. For example, there are few organic cleaning products but there are lots of green cleaning product. For a product to be “green” it generally means that it was manufactured in a way that reduced environmental harm. It also means that the use of the product has less of a negative environmental impact than its “brown”, or not green, counterparts.

Author Jason Harter is an environmental lawyer whose ecological intelligence is through the roof. He is passionate about the green movement and practicing law. He blogs about both and is a contributing author for best online schools for criminal justice.

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