This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The problem with sanctimonious environmentalists (it's not their use of baking soda)

"Really? OK, yes, on a purely environmental basis we’d all be better off giving up our cars and our electricity and living in yurts. To achieve maximum environmental impact we’d ground flights, turn our backs on advertising and consumer culture, and hand-weave a single burlap sack towel for each of our 1.5 children. Hands up those willing to do that? Anyone?

Driving a car, having a refrigerator or a cellphone – even occasionally using evil plastic bags – exactly none of these things disqualifies you from being an environmentally friendly person if you continue making greener choices elsewhere. If you were reading about my strange little shampoo situation above, shaking your head and thinking, “There is no way this strange Canadian lady can convince me to wash my hair with the same stuff I use to unclog my kitchen sink,” does that make you a crap environmentalist? No. Not doing anything because you can’t do everything? That makes you a crap environmentalist, and a defeatist. No one likes a defeatist. Do what you can and ditch the guilt. You don’t have to wash your hair with baking soda to make a difference, although it would make a certain strange Canadian lady immensely happy if you did. Even just once."

Don't miss this sanctimonious environmentalist author's healthier (and cheaper, and much-much greener) alternative to the poisonous stuff called "shampoo" that may be on your shelf. (see link above)

Rule of thumb: Look at a "beauty product's" ingredients and, if there are more than 5 listed, and if one of them is "perfume," you are buying a chemical. You are therefore bathing the largest organ of your body - your skin - with chemicals, daily, week-in, week-out. We pay for it immediately at the checkout, and then pay again, down the road, once the toxic load on our bodies from all of what we're exposed to eventually tips the scale into the red area.

Sad to say that very, very little for sale commercially is benign today. Interestingly, risks to you personally are usually embedded in that which is a risk to the world, meaning the world that supports your life...the air, the water, you know, your matrix. And, vice versa. Bad for the environment, bad for you as a piece of the environment.

Broad-brush solution to begin with? Simple, clean choices, whether it's your shampoo or your power source.   ....everything around us is alive, and it's all connected...and we need it to be healthy in order to live...  We swim through Nature from birth to death...much of it invisible to us, and therefore taken for granted. We are nature; what happens to it happens to us.
Newsflash: We are not separate beings, safe from harm as long as we build higher fences and have more money than our neighbor. The more complicated something is - a product or an entire industry - the more room there is for error. Organic farming: simple, safe. Industrial farming: complex, less nutritious, damaging. Fossil fuel production: damaging every step of the way. Renewables: much simpler, much less impact. 


What to do right now? Thought: Look at all your shampoo and conditioners, lotions and potions, and make a change there for your own good. Then realize that it's the same damn thing to allow the oil and gas industry to bathe the water and air that supports you with toxins as it is for you to wash yourself in chemical-laden soaps and shampoos.

Take care of yourself: Join the push-back against fracking, before it's too late.