Friday, June 5, 2009

Environmentally-Mindful Decision-Making


When given so many choices among certain kinds of products to buy in the grocery store, it can sometimes be difficult to make a mindful decision. If you are staring at an aisle of cleaning products and you are not sure which one to buy, any sound decision making submits to the bright colors and catchy packaging executed by carefully-planned advertising teams. Most of the time, these attractive products are the most expensive and the worst for the environment. So how do you make a decision with mindfulness? The Internet is a great source of information, but let's say you do not have time to go to a computer to read about different products and you are standing in the middle of the aisle, trying to figure out which item to buy. Given that you have read this blog post, then you may have some extra tips under your belt for more mindful decision-making.

It is sometimes a good idea to compare products' ingredients with each other. Usually the products with the least number of ingredients are the ones that are at least closer to being natural. Also, if a product has ingredients whose names you do not recognize, then try to find one that you can read 80-90% of the listed ingredients. Of course, 100% natural is the best, but 80% is a better bet than if you can only recognize the first couple ingredients listed. Also, if a product says on it "100% NATURAL", it is smart to double-check the ingredients on the back to see if all of the components are, in fact, natural. If you see any chemical names (or names you usually cannot pronounce) in the list, then I would not trust that it is 100% natural. However, like I said, 80-90% is better than nothing.

For future referencing, here is a website that gives you a list of environmentally safe companies:
http://www.aehf.com/mfgdesc.html

Just remember, if you are unsure about whether a product is environmentally safe or not, you can always look the product up on-line to get more information. Then you will know better for next time you go to the grocery store.

If you are buying food, look to see where the item was produced, as well as the ingredients in it. If it is from a place outside of your country, or even a place that is far from where you live, then put it down and try to find a local food or at least one that is close to your city. "Environmentally-friendly" living does not necessarily mean consuming "Eco" products -- it means also that we must be mindful of the production of these products. The basis for these products was started somewhere and we should think about the time and energy put into sending products all over the country or even the world. If you do not buy the foreign products, there will be less of a demand for them. If your neighbor does the same, the demand lessens and time, energy, and money spent on shipping these things decreases.
Positive change is a group effort, but you must do your part to make any difference at all.

-Khaled Almazrouei

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