4.22.2007

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, everyone! It's not a day for just hippies and treehuggers. It's an important day of awareness for all.

I've always advocated scrimping, saving, reusing, and recycling of everything under the sun. Not only is it economically sound, it's environmentally crucial. Even if something is cheap, I don't see the point in letting good resources go to waste. More importantly, many resources are not renewable. If we aren't cognizant of our habits now, it may be too late in the future. That future appears closer than ever.

Many of us recycle, which is great, but we should also focus on generating less waste by not acquiring what we don't need. High Fashion Girl wrote an excellent post on waste and the fashion industry. In this day and age of "disposable fashion," we may be tempted to buy lots of cheap and trendy things and then cast them off 2 months later. I've always maintained that 1) Σ (lots of cheap) = expensive, and 2) many "trends" are actually perennially recurring themes, so it makes no sense to throw out clothes after every season. We hurt ourselves in more ways than one if we become slaves to trends.

Nobody likes to be told what to do, but we don't conserve voluntarily, government regulators will step in. California may soon impose a tax on those who buy SUV's, because they contribute to so much air pollution. A lot of people scream that it's unfair, but SUV ownership isn't a natural right. The government impose taxes for regulatory purposes all the time. If you want an SUV, fine, but you'll have to pay more for it. Of course the tax is high--otherwise it will have lost its deterrent effect. A basic tax like this is nothing like the more drastic measures that may follow. I heard on NPR this week that Hong Kong restaurants may impose a fine on people who waste food by ordering way more than they can eat. Since food is cheap, some people get greedy. I can't find the actual broadcast (I believe it's on Friday's geoquiz segment), but the reporter on the story was from the Christian Science Monitor. After reading the CSM article on the subject, I can see why the restaurant industry is going to such lengths; the economic motivation is certainly high, but there's also an environmental component. I'm quite shocked at the actual environmental impact that food waste is creating. The government hasn't taken a hold of this practice yet, but I won't be surprised if it does in the future, given the high population density and the magnitude of the problem.

Pretty soon there might be a new meaning to the term "fashion police."

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I suggest a high tax on polyester clothing. Save our petroleum for fuel, where we really need it.

Oh, and my dad's pet peeve: McDonald's toys.