Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ethical Role Models


Sometimes I feel that in my blogging for ethical consumption I continually harp on the negatives or shine a spotlight on a current state of affairs in one region suffering under pollution, waste, or other greenhouse effects. But by nature I'm a pretty upbeat and positive person, or at least I try to be when i can, and do feel bad being Dr. Gloom or that I'm constantly scolding people about poor environmental habits like naughty children. While I think everyone needs a good wake up call now and again, myself included, I do think it is necessary to speak of what GOOD and POSITIVE trends and efforts are underway.

With the ending of the current year fast approaching, and a new one on the horizon, I took a look at what kinds of efforts are being made to help promote a greener Earth. I was excited to find that there are plenty of areas and places doing what they can to reduce their carbon emissions, recycle whenever possible, and give back to the planet in any ways they can. It seems that the general feelings of the populous recognize a need to amend our ways and many people are willing to do what they can. Once they are armed with the information and find tips as to ways to make a difference, I think it is inspiring to see how the masses genuinely care about the Earth and are eager to jump on the green bandwagon.

In Australia, in the town of Bundanoon, there is now a law that has banned any sales of water that comes bottled. The plastic bottles are only going to eventually end up in landfills, and in fact this bit of legislature was implemented from the voting of the town itself. In place of their plastic foes, they reuse empty bottles to be filled across town from spigots named "Bundy on tap." Also on the plastic front, it is now illegal for any stores or companies to supply their customers with any kinds of plastic bags that aren't recyclable in Mexico City. Mexico City followed in the steps of San Francisco, USA to outlaw these plastic bags in 2007, and boasts the title of being the second largest city to do so.

And from the lips of Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France, his country will impose a carbon tax in hopes to curb its current usage. This tax will be subject to companies and individual homes alike, and while it should be an incentive to reduce the toxic emissions responsible for global warming, it will also be bringing in EUR 4.3 billion each year as for every ton of carbon emissions, there will be a EUR 17 tax.

I know there is still much headway that needs to be forged to get our Earth back on track and free from the wastes and pollutants being pumped into the atmosphere each day, but these positive efforts do warrant a pat on the back. And so when you are striving for more ethical consumption, keep those Aussies and their Bundy taps in mind to limit your plastic waste, and pay homage to the French by limiting your own carbon emissions by carpooling. By helping each other and following others' good examples we can do the World good!

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