More Eco Blogs
- A Guide to Being Glamorously Green
- The Story of Cosmetics
- Indulge in delicious, decadent chocolate... that is FAIR for everyone!
- Elemental Connections Part 4 of 4: AIR
- Elemental Connections Part 3 of 4: EARTH
- Elemental Connections Part 2 of 4: FIRE
- Gas Prices - should it matter to you?
- The Problem with Plastics
- Going Shopping, it's all about the packaging!
- Global Warming and Our Planet
- Halloween Eco Tips
- Ecological Footprint... how big is YOURS?
- What's Happening to Our Planet?...and what can we do about it?
July 2007 Blogs
- Real Girl - Lauren
- Ophelia, by Lisa Klein
- ECO: Your Choices Count
- Quiz - What's your money style?
- Oh No...BFFs like the same guy!
- Beauty Tips and Tricks
- What Colours Mean - Green
- Quiz - What kind of party organizer are you?
- He Dumped Me and Now I'm So Stressed!!
- Sisters - same genes, just not the same 'jeans'
- Sisters Around The World - Egypt
- Ask A Guy - asking girls to dance, what girl like about guys, ask girls a question, about guys thatgirls don't get
- Want to have a toned body? It's not about eating less...
- Be Your Own Goddess - Ganga
- Girlfriends - What you say is what you are
- Career Watch - The Life of a Copy Writer
- Shhh... Money Makes the World Go Around
- SLEEP, why is it such a struggle for some people?
- Summer Makeup for Day and Night
- Inspirational Girls and Women - Lorene Hatelt
ECO: Your Choices Count
MY CANADA, July 2007, by Deanna Fry
Your Choices Count
Sometimes we need to go away and then come to realize what we have. Or like the old saying goes, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." Maybe you've really looked forward to a trip away from home to a friend's cottage, or to a sleep over, or summer camp. And then after it's all over and you're back home, you realize just how great your own bed is when you get back into it to go to sleep. Whether it's your bed you appreciate, or your room, your parents or even your annoying little brother, the fact tat you went away and came back is what makes the difference. The same thing can happen with countries when you travel.
I guess that's what happened to a couple of young Canadian women a few years back in 2002 when they met while studying in the eastern African country of Kenya. Jess and Joss were stunned by the poverty and inequity they saw in the lives of the people around them. So many things in Kenya were completely different to what they were used to in Canada! Their experience not only made them appreciate what they had, it also helped them to realize that their everyday actions and choices made a difference in the world.
They came to understand that the way they used water, electricity and other natural resources and that the types of food, clothing and other products they bought were contributing to the problems on a different continent.
That's where the idea of 'Resposible Consumption' comes in. Basically it means considering how a product is made, and what impact the process has had on the environment and on the people who made it, before you actually decide to buy something. You already know that everything we consume ultimately comes from the earth's natural resources in some way. The part we often don't know is how the production of the item impacts the local environment and the lives of the people involved in making it. Many of the things we buy here in Canada are made in less developed countries far away, where the rules and regulations to protect the environment and the farmers and factory workers involved are very different.
Did you know that the average wage of a clothing industry worker in Pakistan is 23 cents an hour? Or that there are more than 250 million children involved in child labour worldwide? Ten percent of the world's pesticides are used to grow cotton plants, which is what cotton clothing is made out of. 'Sweatshops' are workplaces where workers are subject to exploitation like low wages, long hours, unsafe or unhealthy working conditions and sometimes even the denial of basic human rights. When we purchase items made under these kinds of conditions we are supporting the system that produce them. We are part of the problem!
When Jess and Joss returned to Canada after living in Kenya, they decided to do something. Realizing that "any problem to which they contributed also presented them with an amazing opportunity to be part of its solution, by making better everyday choices," they started an organization called the Otesha Project. Now they, and others, help Canadians understand the impact our everyday choices have on the environment and on other people around the world.
So, let's appreciate the amazing country we live in! We have so many opportunities and choices. By choosing to practice 'Responsible, Sustainable Consumption' in our everyday lives we can enrich the lives of others and make the world a better place. Don't forget, your choices count!