Is there a legitimate call to nature? Hmm? Not so long ago, life was simple. Purists and those who promote a higher level of conscious awareness, continue the conversations of clean air, food and water. Still, there seems to be debatable intolerances.
Along the way, there have been those bought or sold by whatever was popular at the time, but when it comes to our environment, should that be the definite article?
There are the effervescent television ads claiming that if you buy a certain car you are doing your part to support cleaner air. Then there are the constituents who say they are constantly lobbying for the rights to create new ways to make our beautiful planet greener than ever.
It used to be, that all you had to do, in doing your part, was to keep simple habits, like throwing out your trash properly. What seems to have clouded the judgement of some who are just looking out for the bottom line? Like those caught between the Moon and New York City, the line is over dramatized as to how we fix the growing need for environmental change, not for a town, state or country, but worldwide.
Ideal or Idealized Gesturing-Commiting to clean living is not a new concept. Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau was one such conveyor of all things natural. Born in 1817, many topics were his blank canvas. With a vast knowledge on many subjects, one of his passions was simple living. He was a naturalist by most descriptions and was known as one of the leading transcendentalists of his time.
He wrote in one of his most notable efforts, his book entitled, 'Walden' said, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
This Concord, Massachusetts native believed in direct action, when it came to his many beliefs and he would not falter. He gave lectures, wrote books and contributed to an idealism that he felt would be long lasting if people would just listen to the earth.
Mr. Thoreau had the right idea. It always seems that when somone has come to the end of their life or has had to face major crisis it is then that they reflect deeply on how they could have made small changes with greater impact. He did not want to be one with regret for not having tried.
Some speculated that he was slightly eccentric but always up for good rhetoric on topics important to him. He was not a push over as he was an abolitionist and fought The Fugitive Slave Law. But was he right or even realistic on how to procure a safer atmosphere for his day and ours or did he just spin a tale of panic, interwoven with myths and dreams?
Another fighter of organic mainstream was Rachel Carson. Ms. Carson had a love for the sea and all things naturally crafted. Born in 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania, it would seem at first breathe, she was destined to pursue a better quality of life. a fervor which had been bestowed upon her by her mother. She became a writer and ecologist, donating many hours of research to and writing about conservation and utilizing natural resources.
She enlisted the help of many to incite clear thinking on cleansing land and sea of pollution. She knew that it started with our thinking process. In her own words she reflected her true feelings:
"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction". Clear heartfelt disdain for earth's ruination and the halting of blind altercations to the earth and sea as she saw it, was her mantra for life.
After graduating from the Pennsylvania College for Women, (Chatham College today), she went on to Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and received her MA in Zoology from John Hopkins University in 1932. In her book 'The Sea Around Us', a prize winning love story of earth's seas, was one way she tried to get us to reflect on the vastness and wonderment of earth's largest mass, water. To respect it.
The view not besmudged by any other notion than an honest love for creation.
With all of the education these two individuals displayed, was it enough to change the minds of the masses? No. There is still a lot of work to do in order to get ideas to cross over into reality. Are we facing intense issues regarding global warming? Yes. Are there many who run the gambit of ideas from local to legislative? Yes. But who is right?
The Fight To Be Right-When dwelling on how long the fight for what is right has been going on compared to what could really be done, given the structure and money used for polling and research, many could have used that revenue to really make a sustainable difference. Buying the car that uses better fuels-good, selling cleaner oils globally would be even better. Where to get the money?
The money spent on ads alone encouraging people to buy cleaner greener products, which are so expensive to begin with, makes you wonder if it is worth it at all. Also, the same individuals who buy the greener cars need to stop smoking. The business owner who wants to have a reusable bag program needs to ponder the other best practices he regards as passable but not really green.
If everyone in the world switched to vehicles that could make the air quality improve, are those the only measures we need to take and if not, what else can be done is the growing question.
Food and Our Environment-Better?-Buying and eating organically is a good idea but if the produce is locally grown, even better. If it has to ship from another country than the carbon footprint has a cramp in it. The reason-it has to be flown here, hence additional fuel usage and then trucked once it lands. But then, how does that work for the other honest working farmers who are trying to uphold the value and propegation of good eating habits for us "greeners" and still make a profit?
Some conventional ways to support all of our farmers whether organic or not may be to research what really is better organically or conventionally. Fruits that have peels, one might see as ok, as opposed to buying strawberries or other fruits and vegetables that are easily susceptible to pesticide penetration.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture states however, that based upon 100,000 government tests of fruits and vegetables, after being thoroughly washed, may still retain up to 50% pesticide residue.
How much is too much when taking in pesticides is anyones guess. The fact is, the variety of produce purchased, with or without peels, most likely will have some residual chemicals. There are so many on the market that are FDA regulated but in some lands there are no guidelines, so do your research, if you can find accurate information at all. Growing your own produce would be ideal, in a perfect world.
Tapping Into Your Water Source-Globally, we spent 50 million dollars on bottled water, U.S. consumption being around 10.8 billion dollars in 2011. Fifty million dollars. This staggering figure does not include flavored or other fortified water, and keep in mind that was back in 2011.
To make us feel better and maybe ease their own conscience, some make claims of endorsing green living or contribute revenue based on percentages purchased by the consumer. Others have reduced the amount of plastic used in making their bottles. Still, is bottled water THE relevant concern?
The glamorized commercials of running brooks and pleasant sounding streams or the sports enthusiast pulling out the name brand logo might make you pause.The decision to drink bottled over tap may depend on your lifestyles or local water source. In which case, you have every right to research if tap water is agreeable for you and your family.
There are many opinions, thoughts and compromises on green and what it means. The truth at the heart of it-it is up to you how you want to maintain a safe clean lifestyle.
Valid points and questionable motives aside, I think Rachel Carson summed it up well in her timeless commentary:
"Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species-man-acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world".
Right say you Rachel, right say you.