Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lifestyles: Little change, Big difference.

I totally get that many of the changes I have made in my personal life are not right for everyone. Owning a truck totally makes sense if you are a contractor and need to haul lumber and tools around.

Though I would like to see a tax system developed based on gross vehicle weight, something like $10 per hundred pounds over 2000lb GVW, with exemptions for businesses.

But that is not the topic i wish to discuss. Lets start out with PEI or "personal environmental impact". If you live a typical American lifestyle you probably have a much higher PEI than you expect. Lots of collateral damage is being done on behalf of consumers by large distributors, energy producers, manufacturers and growers. I once read that a kiwi fruit imported from New Zealand to a north american market has a carbon foot print roughly equal to the weight of the fruit its self.

With so many factors, it is hard to get a real handle on your PEI, this is often the justification many use for not attempting to positively effect it. Another commonly used argument is "if i don't buy it, someone else will", (The logic of this never really made sense to me) but that misses two key points. One, you vote everyday with your dollar, if you choose to make a purchase from a company, you are telling them "I agree with your business model". Second, now they have to import two of the item, one for you and one for the other person.

American consumerism is directly linked to individualistic thinking. There is an active propaganda to limit a persons ability to think of them selves as a part of a consumer base. When consumers make decisions based on collectivist ideals, corporations sometimes lose, and there for stop advertising on media. Media depends on advertising dollars to function. Therefor it is in the self interest of media sources to maintain the zeitgeist of individualism.

A little research can go a long way in determining what business models you wish to support and which you think are an affront to your personal morals. We live in a day and age where you can access more information on your phone walking in a grocery, then most people have had access too through out history. To choose not to use it, I argue, is the greatest crime.

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