Welcome Greenophobes

Today there is a growing awareness that business-as-usual corporate and lifestyle practices jeopardize the health of the planet and the ability of future generations to sustain a good quality of life. Awareness in turn has created a confusing array of sustainability-oriented decisions. The Greenophobe takes a skeptical, practical, informed look at a variety of sustainability topics. Explore a mix of common sense solutions and in-depth discussions that demystify how to live green and live well.

10 December 2009

Greening your eating: food waste, food chain, buy local

Obsessing over soy-based organic free-range sustainable grass-fed all natural stuff that you put in your mouth?

You're not alone.  Making smart food choices can feel like spinning a giant wheel of chance with "green bliss via eternal salvation" as half the potential outcomes and "slow, painful death by starvation" as the other half.  That is, if you bother to try to cut through the greenwashing and "creative product marketing" that contributes to the confusion in the first place.  

The lower something is on Maslow's pyramidal hierarchy of human needs (food's at the very bottom) the less likely you are to discriminate over it using environmentally friendly reasoning, unless your choices are well-informed, convenient and comparable in quality and cost. Everything The Greenophobe wants them to be.

With food, it's been a gamble until now. You just don't know what's really environmentally sound and what options are just out there to rob you blind while you think you're doing something good.

Take a deep breath. 

The Greenophobe's in-depth blatherings on how to eat green and eat well will slice and dice all the available, practical ways to come out on top in this culinary crusade for greenification of your diet. Start here, with what we think are the three most genius pieces of economical advice on food:

1. Don't waste food.
2. Eat lower on the food chain.
3. Buy local.

01 December 2009

Think you know your carbon footprint? It's time to change shoes.

THE GREENOPHOBE"You are familar with the concept of a carbon footprint, right?
CONCERNED READER: "Yes. I went online and it was as easy as measuring my shoe size."
THE GREENOPHOBE: "That's nice.  So, you're probably around 19 tons per year, right?"
CONCERNED READER"Sounds about right. Is that...normal?"
THE GREENOPHOBE:  "Sure, if normal means twice the size of most people in other developed countries and more than ten times higher than most of the 1 Billion people living in Africa."
CONCERNED READER:  "Oh no.  What should I do?"
THE GREENOPHOBE"Don't panic.  The truth is, you can actually make a greater positive impact on the global environment and achieve greater personal satisfaction by focusing less on your carbon footprint numbers and more on a broader range of lifestyle decisions that affect your LifePrint -- a more comprehensive and economically sound way of looking at how all facets of your lifestyle reflect on the world around you.

It's very easy to want to use the concept of a carbon footprint as your guide for going green.  It's a nice neat number based on real science and it can be applied to most things you do and buy.  But, for most Greenophobes, it's not the ideal path.  Today, actively managing your environmental impact to your carbon footprint number is going to cost money and may result in sacrifices in undesirable areas with implications for quality and convenience. 
For this reason, greenophobes everywhere deserve a proper explanation of the carbon footprint and the alternative concept of an environmental "LifePrint" in order to effectively reprioritize major green initatives that have as much benefit for you as they do for the world.

The LifePrint idea is simple:  if you put practical lifestyle considerations including health and value at the forefront of your environmental decision making, you'll end up lowering your carbon footprint and satisfying your greenophobic instincts at the same time.