There was a time that I felt lonely (and no, I’m not referring the night of senior prom when I went grocery shopping with my father rather than attend – dateless!). Rather, I’m referring to just a few years ago when I was trying to find a market for my brilliant new idea – a column that would guide people through making environmentally and socially responsible purchasing choices.

It wasn’t long ago that I was a radical, by North American media standards. I was told that people weren’t “ready” for this information, that they weren’t interested. One honest newspaper editor confessed that he thought it a good idea but feared I would “piss off Wal-Mart”, one of his biggest advertisers.

Thanks to Al Gore opening up the dialogue, I did find a market, which led to a book, speaking engagements and to radio and TV gigs.

For the most part, people now want to hear what I have to say…which, as mom to three young kids, is a very refreshing change.

However, even with “eco” news saturating popular media, I’m astounded at the level of disconnect between what people know…and what they’re doing about it.

Just this morning a local talk radio show was discussing last year’s bisphenol A/plastic bottle debate and one caller noted that it was likely a “marketing ploy” to get people to replace all their old plastic bottles with new BPA-free bottles.

The host laughed…then agreed that he was probably right.

I was tempted to call in but I’m barely coherent when confronted with such insanity. I would undoubtedly end up sputtering something like, “Are you [expletive] kidding me?” and would shortly thereafter receive a call from my father expressing disappointment in my “colourful” language.

And it’s not just wacked-out conspiracy theorists who are spouting such nonsense.

A friend of mine recently commented that, though she’s read lots about climate change, she’s convinced that it’s part of the earth’s “natural cycle.”

Too stunned to formulate an intelligent response, I simply shook my head and mentally scratched her off my Earth Day e-card list.

Admittedly, these people are the extreme. But even those who acknowledge the legitimate threat of climate change, who fear a global water shortage and feel concern for not-just-the-cute animals threatened by species extinction seem to lack the will to take action that goes beyond recycling pop cans – such as spending a few extra bucks each month on sourcing green power for their homes, or saving a few bucks (no pun intended!) by eating less meat.

Simple, but impactful acts.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and my initial delight at being embraced for my notions of living greener has given way to concern that the problem is larger and our available solutions increasingly inadequate.

As one writer recently noted, the prospect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been reframed as stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions – and even that may be too ambitious.

Still, I refuse to be that proverbial guy (girl?) who did nothing because he could only do a little.

I just wish we’d all do a little…more.

Leslie Garrett is a national award-winning journalist, author and editor, based near Toronto, Canada. She is the author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World and she has also written a dozen children’s books, including a biography of renowned environmentalist David Suzuki and “EarthSmart”, a book for young children on protecting the environment.

Visit: http://www. virtuousconsumer. com/

Via:www.greenmuze. ??m

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