The sad fact is, Zissousmom, I have seen it happen.
We have major recycling programs at work - 95% of waste gets recycled. I have seen people then walk out of the office, after recycling carefully all day and drop their drink bottle in the garbage can right beside the plastics can, and when you say something, they will tell you they have done their part for the environment that day.
I am not saying it is right - but the studies like this cow one that say not eating meat is better for the environment than giving up driving you say 'well if you do this is it is ok to carry one driving'. Then people think of all the news reports regarding emissions for vehicles and think that giving up that one meat meal a week makes up for the wrongs they do. Yes people who are environmentally thoughtful will do both, but don't think because you would that the rest of the world will - look at how many people still don't recycle.
|I've seen a lot of people looking for reasons to avoid taking action or any personal responsibility. Denying the evidence, wringing hands and despairing of making a difference, hoping technology will save them, and hoping that government will ride to the rescue, even hoping the New Millenium with Jesus Saving us will come in their lifetime.
I am not denying the evidence - I am giving you other facts that say one meal a week or month is too small a step. If we are to undo any of the mess that the world is in we need to do a lot more than stop eating beef now and then. As for Jesus coming and saving the environment, I belive you are on the Happy Holiday side and know there are other gods and icons who will save the world
But seriously - thinking that Jesus will save the world doesn't help - what if it takes too long and people die in the mean time.
What I and others are saying is not making excuses, but saying it is just not enough to save the environment, the results would be so incremental that the planet (or us) may be gone before it 'works'.
According to an article in Time in this year's Environmental Special, we would be better off by using alternative fuel. Most countries did make an effort towards this in recent years but instead of being environmentally friendly, they did the usual lowest bidder wins on building and use coal and natural gas to heat or run the processors.
Small things in your home can reduce heat loss and therefore emissions. Sealing windows and doors, increasing the insulation in your attics and going further, using 'green' materials for furniture. Wash your clothes in cold or warm water and hang to dry rather than use a dryer, where allowed. CFL bulbs and LED lights, which NC has started using for parking lots in Raleigh as a pilot scheme, but can also be used in homes. Many governments are setting up programs for free or cheap energy audits with grants for major improvements that need to be done to save energy. Small things like a hot water tank insulator, costing $15 retail can save 250lbs of CO2 emmissions and are more likely to be done than giving up meat. Rake leaves instead of using a leaf blower.
One of the biggest things that can help is cutting down in size. Our houses are now almost double the size of those being built in the 50s and 60s, despite there being a lot more land back then. This means more trees get cut down, more green space is used up, more building materials, more fossil fuels to heat them, more crap in them, more cars in the new bigger garages.
Allowing people to work from home where possible reduces the need for cars to drive to work, office buildings, furnishings etc. Or carpooling or using public transit, which is often greener than a car. If people work in an office, allow less formal (heavier) clothes as long as still business like and don't turn up the AC as much, or allow sweaters and turn down the heat. We have been doing this at work and have saved a lot on energy. Turn off computers when not being used, the same for other appliances.
Support local businesses, and use your own bags for groceries.
There are so many things that can be done that make an impact - but trying to get people to give up meat is like trying to make them change their religion, without going into the mess of packaging on grocery products, meat or not.