Thursday, March 19, 2009

Eco-Ethiconomic Recovery

Whether or not we choose to embrace or admit this, as a society our collective ethics are counter cyclic to our economic conditions. However undesirable this may appear, it is at the same time an opportunity. The current economy has certainly given us time for introspection; about our spending habits, possessions, economic situation with respect to fellow citizens and even our manner of consumption and the global impact. Just recall how quickly we as a nation drastically reduced the number of miles we drove when gas prices spiked. Even as gas prices dropped appreciably we have not returned to our original level of consumption. While it's true many of us seized the opportunity to change gas consuming habits forever, most are likely to resume previous habits and consumption levels when the economy resurfaces from its deep dive. This is unfortunate and not in the spirit of "Eco-Ethiconomic Recovery".

So what does this example of simple economic pressure and response have to do with ethics being counter cyclic? This question is best answered by your own investigation. Did you ditch your gas guzzler, start taking the bus or train, rideshare with a friend? If the answer is yes on any account, did you congratulate yourself solely for your economic gains, or was there also some amount of "green pride" in the mix? Whether or not your habits changed, as your pocket book became more stressed did you at any time consider the intangible impact of consuming oil versus; air quality, water pollution, carbon emissions, renewable energy. Now comes the hard part... if it wasn't for rising cost of gas, would or have you made any change of habit exclusively for "green pride" reasons? Hmmm...

While it's easy to cite the nation's newly rediscovered intolerance of the financial community as evidence to our swinging ethical compass, the example I use above is very subtle and demands focused attention to our own thoughts, intentions and ultimately our actions. In cases of right versus wrong it's very easy to know where we stand ethically. However, in cases of right versus more right, the path is not so clear and well traveled.

I encourage anyone in my sphere of influence to consider your choices as recovering consumers:
First - Don't buy what you won't use. It's really that simple.
Second - Consider the hidden impact of your purchase. For example, by purchasing clothing made with organic material you are voting for manufacturing conditions which significantly reduce or completely remove workers exposure to hazardous and environmentally un-friendly chemicals.
Third - When you begin to buy again...Please donate what you've replaced or will no longer use.

Keeping it Green...

Turning Life

P.S. Turning Life is pleased to announce we have recently been Green America Approved. Read more...

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