Grass Roots

One need not go out picketing to be an active environmentalist – in fact I’d consider that as being passive than active. To be an active environmentalist, “be the change you want to see in the world” (Gandhi).

It’s really the smallest actions and choices you make that make a big difference. No amount of funding you give for environmental organizations can compensate for the impact of these small activities:

  • Energy efficient light-bulbs (reduces consumption; green-house gases).
  • Zero-emission vehicle (environmentally safe).
  • Go organic (safe for the ecosystem as well as human consumption).
  • Coat/shoe you buy does not contain leather, wool, or fur (animal cruelty).
  • Soap/perfume you purchase is not animal tested.
  • Opt for ayurveda (preventive maintenance of good health, as well as healing) instead of pumping yourself with chemicals.
  • Organic milk (less cruelty to cows and less danger to humans).
  • Avoid foods with trans-fat.
  • Recycle and purchase things made from recycled material (reduces landfills, pollution, preserves forests), by simple actions as carrying your own reusable cloth shopping bag, and refusing plastic bags from the shop keeper, or using handkerchiefs instead of paper towels, go a long way.
  • Rechargeable batteries (non-rechargeable batteries produce 100,000 tons of waste per year).
  • Fountain pens instead of ballpoint pens. Just take an inventory of how many packs of ballpoint pens get used in your corporation every year (and where they eventually end up – in landfills).
  • Go vegetarian (i.e. questions the dharma of killing animals for nothing other than satisfaction of taste).
  • In a time where universities and research institutions are driven/biased by private funding agencies, one should uphold certain core principles no matter what – such as the accurate representation of knowledge.
  • Invest ethically – such as investing in renewable energy stocks (solar, wind, hydro,…),
  • And the list goes on…

You might ask, “who has time for this?” But think about it: none of the above actions asks for much time at all.

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