Why Go Green: 9 Reasons to Re-Examine Your Lifestyle
There are likely as many answers to the question "Why Go Green?" as there are people who live a sustainable lifestyle. It is a deeply personal, encompassing choice that is usually embraced wholeheartedly by the individual for often deep, philosophical meaning.
I've laid out all the most frequently discussed reasons below that I could think of. Many reasons will vary greatly from each other. Some people will disagree with some of these ideas while others draw from several of them when discussing their decision.
Despite disagreements, within every person living sustainably is a common thread: the strong conviction we feel for our lifestyle and the empowerment we experience through our actions. Whether it's a lifestyle given to us by our culture or our own research, we live this way because it fulfills us. And despite what some may feel about another person's answer to the question "Why Go Green", it is a source of inspiration to be able to bond through our animation and personal convictions.
This is a lot of really heavy information. I don't normally like to get all doomsday, whoa-is-us on you. But this background info is important to know if someone comes asking. So, grab a Cup O' Something and take your time reading through it all. Or you might want to just skim through it before delving into other parts of the site. Whatever you do, don't let it overwhelm you! It's here only as a learning resource, not to depress you. #staypositive
Action is the antidote to despair.
Probably most well-known as "global warming", the science behind climate change is one of the most hotly debated topics among people today. Although it is often a huge motivator behind the green movement, there are still those who fail to acknowledge its validity, many others who feel helpless about it, and very few who ask the real question: Man-made or not, does it actually matter?
Read More: What Causes Climate Change?
Peak oil has gathered a lot of attention in recent years. The term refers to a peak in oil extraction followed by a decline of production and a dramatic rise in cost. The idea that we can actually run out of (or at least, cease to be able to afford the increasingly difficult extraction of) oil is a disconcerting idea when almost every aspect of our Western lifestyle depends on it as a cheap commodity.
Read More: Peak Oil Theory Explained
While climate change and peak oil can be debated, the impact of environmental pollution on humans and habitat is undeniable. Every year more fresh water is polluted, natural landscape is lost, and animals are becoming endangered or extinct. A loss of biodiversity raises the risks of disease, blight, and famine and the rate at which humans pollute the Earth is much faster than the rate at which the Earth can be restored.
Health and Wellness
Every week we read about a new study that explains how some environmental factor is affecting our health, or has found another danger in one of our household products or personal care items. Cancer has been linked to cleaning products, dementia to antiperspirants, a lack of nutrition to conventional farming, and asthma to air pollution. Why go green if not for your own health?
Too many people think going green is expensive, but it shouldn't be. In fact, frugal living tends to be a natural by-product of a simply and sustainable living. Did you know that when you signup to receive the 7 Day Treehugger Kickstart, you'll also receive a free guide on sustainable strategies to save money.
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Why go green? Money is always a big motivator. Choosing a sustainable lifestyle will obviously impact your choices as a consumer. For some of us, the positive impact of living simply and sustainably is increased by the positive impact on our local economy. For instance, buying from local farms means supporting neighbors whose success is directly related to your health and the health of the environment.
Read More: Why You Should "Think Global, Act Local"
Many people prefer to keep their convictions closer to home, answering "Why Go Green?" with a model of living simply. This minimalism lifestyle encompasses a commitment to reducing the complexities of life and allowing yourself to focus on the things that matter most. By connecting more and consuming less, they naturally mitigate the effects of many environmental concerns.
Read More: Living a Minimalism Lifestyle
Religious or Spiritual Environmentalism
While some people believe religious views to be aloof to environmental woes, in many cases it's an unfair assessment. In nearly all religious texts, from the Torah to the Judeo-Christian Bible to the Qoran, there is a call to be stewards of the land, caring for and protecting the gifts given to followers of their faith. Also included are many Easterns beliefs, such as Buddhism and Paganism, with whom a reverence for nature is paramount.
Green and sustainable living is a natural by-product of living self-sufficiently. Anyone wishing to be truly sustainable in their own lives eventually comes to the realization that they cannot rely on the unsustainable infrastructure provided to us by cheap oil and shady political deals. Living off-the-grid, whether environmental or political, requires the use of renewable energies, as well as the sustainable care of land, self and other resources.