Is "living green" really a selfish thing to do?

Okay think about it: you’re trying to help the world by limiting your carbon footprint…but it takes so much more of a difference than even the most green person can do. And here there are people who need food and can’t even make the decision to be green (although they’re probably the greenest) and the food shelfs and charities are running dry. Why does concern for everyone else living with whatever consequences we’ve committed ourselves to seem to go lower in priority than our own fight to stay alive?

Disclaimer: Sorry about not having correct jargon!! Also, in essence I have nothing wrong with living green or trying to better the world physically – i’m just getting a perspective from you.

15 thoughts on “Is "living green" really a selfish thing to do?”

  1. A lot of it anymore is abotu making yourself feel better, so in a sense, yes. I think money spent on "carbon offsets" and such nonsense would be far better spent fighting AIDS or hunger.

  2. No, it is a very unselfish act and it helps to preserve Earth, reduce consumption of natural resources, reduce pollution, reduce bad health caused by chemical use in our environment, I hope you get the idea….Inequality will always be around but if we are not sensitive to keeping our environment clean and enable Earth’s resources instead of destroying them, they will get trashed.
    We all should leave this place better than how we found it.

  3. I just read about this website on the Wall Street Journal: Carbon Diet Plan. It is an application that can put us on a ‘carbon diet’. As an individual and friends, we can make an impact on global warming 1 lb at a time.

  4. I don’t see your connection with "living green" and the hard-luck stories.

    So, to simply answer your question: of COURSE your deciding to "live green" isn’t a selfish thing to do…so long as you don’t try to force your decision on everyone else.

  5. Okay, those people that cant afford to live green are unfortunate people which are abundant in the world. We cannot stop the good doing feeling sorry for those thousands of people! We’re the lucky ones who are capable to help the world(maybe) and we should take that chance.

  6. no. i live green to and living green is just a way to help reduce pollution that is slowly increasing the rate of global warning and al gore is wrong global warming is a natural prossess that has been speeded up by our usage of fossil fuel. more people need to live green.

  7. you don’t have your facts right. Green living actually is highly economical (though may require more money up front).

    Things you can do that are green AND save money

    1. switch to CFL’s: higher up-front cost, but saves you money in the long term in energy costs (and last significantly longer than regular lightbulbs).
    2. Drive less and drive smarter (plan out errands to avoid unnecessary trips and to find the most direct routs cutting down on driving time).
    3. Bring canvas bags to the grocery stores (many stores give $.03 to $.05 off per bag — not a lot, but it adds up)
    4. Unplug electric appliances when not in use (appliances suck up electricity even when not on)
    5. Don’t keep the AC cranked when you are not home.
    6. Keep the blinds down during the summer months to help naturally cool rooms.
    7. buy locally grown produce (usually comparable to grocery store prices: helps to support your local farmers and requires less energy to make it from the farm to your table).
    8. wash your clothes in cold water (saves in energy costs)
    9. Take short (and not scorching hot) showers
    10. Eat vegetarian one day per week (often cheaper than meats and grains take significantly less energy to produce per pound than meat).

  8. Its the oposite
    screwing up the planet that everybody needs is the selfish way.
    to take care of it ,its the social attitude.
    because we all need soil to grow food,Air to breathe ,uncontaminated water to drink,and a reasonable climate .

    here is how ,although you dont sound like a person who cares
    The best we can do as individuals is be more responsible ,in our own neck of the woods
    Organise well publicized clean up parties ,talk on the radio
    Have citizan meetings
    Get the shools involved to plant trees and listen to environmental awareness talks,

    If you do any cleaning up leave signs behind saying who cleaned,why and ask people not to start dumping rubbish again ,leave a hole or bins ,in case people come with trash ,

    Classify trash take out all the organic waste and make compost with it ,the worst you can do is throw it with the trash
    70% of contamination is due to organic waste that is mixed in with the garbage .
    And it is just as bad in the sewer where it helps to breed rats and in the landfill it poisons the ground

    And it is the easiest to take care of
    o first of all we have to clasify trash at least keep the organic to one side ,like in a plasic bin with a lid
    If you got a few meters of ground ,you only need 1 or 2 square meters in a shallow hole ,in the shade ,that you can wet now and again ,where you dump everything that is organic ,from toilet paper,bones vegetable cuttings ,eggshells,,dead bodies ,excrement ,and cover regularly with leaves to keep humid and to hide any smell
    the worms will come and decompose the wastes truning it into beautifull black soil for the garden of flower pots .
    If you are in a apartment ,if you have a balcony get a big plastic bin drill some holes in the side and lid ,
    Add a few buckets of sand now and again to put over the trash ,you should realt stir or move the stuff at times to airate it and ensure that the decomposition is overall ,keep moist
    This rubbish does not get big very fast and the thing works for a long time with out getting full
    these are Al gores sites……………………

    If you want to help the planet ,plant a tree every week ,if everyone on the planet did we we would be able to slowdown the destructive processes
    Reduce carbon emisions,and they are already working on that by alternative forms of energy and regulations on carbon producing materials,aerosol cans,burning rubbish,industrial chimneys,powerplants etc.
    Waterharvesting projects ,such as millions of small redirect over ground waterflows from the rains into the ground to supply subteranian water supplies.
    The protection of existing forrests.
    Stop building more highways,urban planning to include vegetation stop building cities encourage people to return to the land to conduct their business from there which now has become possible thanks to the internet.
    Education to motivate people to auto sufficiency by building more home food gardens.
    Education on environmental awareness
    education on family planning to curb over´population
    Agricultural education and improvements to follow the principals or sustainability and soil management.
    More environmental or land ,design to prevent bush fires,such as–fire breaks
    More dams.regulations and control for public behaviour
    Alternative effeciant public transport to discourage the use of the internal conbustion engine

    101 Ways To Live More Ecologically,may be you find something that applies to you

    1. Avoid disposable in favor of reusable
    2. Avoid drying rags in a clothes dryer.
    3. Avoid power appliances when handpower works.
    4. Avoid highly processed foods.
    5. Avoid using styrofoam—it can’t be recycled.
    6. Avoid watering driveways and sidewalks.
    7. Be responsible and creative with leftover foods.
    8. Buy in bulk goods to reduce wasted packaging.
    9. Buy energy efficient electric appliances.
    10. Buy foods without additives.
    11. Buy foods without preservatives.
    12. Buy food and goods from sources you trust
    13. Buy large quantities to reduce shopping trips.
    14. Buy living Christmas trees.
    15. Buy locally grown food and produce.
    16. Buy organic, pesticide-free foods.
    17. Compost your food scraps.
    18. Discover and protect watersheds in your area,
    19. Don’t burn trash or other smoky materials.
    20. Drain cooking grease onto paper bags, not paper towels.
    21. Drive a fuel-efficient car.
    22. Drive less: walk, bicycle, carpooland use public transportation.

    23. Eat foods low on the food chain; avoid meat.
    24. Eat more natural, nutritious foods.
    25. Educate elected representatives on ecology.
    26. Exercise regularly.
    27. Explore and learn about your bioregion.
    28. Grow your own food, even a small amount.
    29. Hang dry some or all of your clothes.
    30. Heat your home less and wear warmer clothes.
    31. Heat your home more with renewable energies.
    32. Hold a potluck dinner to discuss local ecology.
    33. If you use a dishwasher, turn off the drying cycle.
    34. Install a water-conserving device in your toilets.
    35. Install a water-conserving showerhead.
    36. Insulate your home to maximum efficiency.
    37. Invest for social responsibility as well as profit.
    38. Invest in solar power, where practical.
    39. Invest in well-made, long-lived clothing.
    40. Keep hazardous chemicals in safe containers.
    41. Keep appliance motors well adjusted for efficiency.
    42. Mend and repair rather than discard and replace.
    43. Oppose meddling in ecological balance.
    44. Oppose private development of special areas.
    45. Oppose roadside use of defoliants.
    46. Organize or join a neighborhood toy exchange.

    47. Pick up litter along streets and highways.
    48. Plant native trees and shrubs around your home.
    49. Plant trees throughout your community.
    50. Plant your living Christmas tree.
    51. Practice preventive health care.
    52. Practice responsible family planning.
    53. Prepare only as much food as will be eaten.
    54. Protect your favorite distinctive natural areas.
    55. Purchase goods in reusable/recyclable containers.
    56. Put a catalytic converter on your wood stove.
    57. Put toxic substances out of reach of children.
    58. Recycle aluminum.
    59. Recycle glass.
    60. Recycle newspaper.
    61. Recycle old clothes.
    62. Recycle plastic.
    63. Recycle used motor oil.
    64. Recycle your unneeded items.
    65. Re-use paper bags.
    66. Re-use plastic bags for storage and waste.
    67. Save up for full loads in clothes washers.
    68. Save up for full loads in dishwasher.
    69. Shop by phone, then go pick up your purchases.
    70. Speak out about your values in community groups.
    71. Support efficient energy sources in your bioregion.
    72. Support elected representatives on ecological issues.
    73. Support energy conservation in your bioregion.

    74. Support global ecological improvement efforts.
    75. Support local credit unions.
    76. Support local merchants before large chains.
    77. Support neighborhood food cooperatives.
    78. Support proper waste water and sewage treatment.
    79. Support the cultural diversity in your bioregion.
    80. Support the plants and animals in your community.
    81. Take shorter showers.
    82. Teach your children ecological wisdom.
    83. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater.
    84. Turn off the lights when not needed.
    85. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
    86. Use biodegradable soaps and detergents.
    87. Use cloth diapers.
    88. Use cloth table napkins.
    89. Use less tapwater whenever possible.
    90. Use non-toxic pest control.
    91. Use only medications you trust/understand.
    92. Use rags or towels instead of paper.
    93. Use rechargeable batteries.
    94. Use the second side of paper for scratch paper.
    95. Use water from cooking vegetables to make soup.
    96. Volunteer for work in a community garden.
    97. Volunteer to maintain local parks and wilderness.
    98. Wash clothes in cold water.
    99. Wash dishes in still, not running water.
    100. Weather-seal your home.
    101. Work to unlearn poor ecological habits

  9. Wild lives in my garden.

    Living Green is really a selfless act. A person is considering what will happen to others as well as themselves. The money I save by recycling, not using excessive packaging, conserving, water and electricity, I can use for my favorite charities to better someone elses life. It’s a great feeling. There’s nothing selfish about living green.

  10. Green living is really about caring about three things the earth, the people and fair shares. That means limiting your own consumption so that others may have their needs met. The problem you describe is inequality. Caused by massive differences in earnings. Look at football players, how can they be ‘worth’ so much more than other people? They are not in reality, but society ‘values’ them more highly. So they have a massive share of the pie. Self limit your own consumption that is being green.

  11. The way I see it is you are asking why do we care about putting our individual efforts into making the world a more livable place in the long run, instead of putting them into helping people live in the short run.

    First, if you think a group of individuals can make an impact on world hunger, then you should think that they should be able to make a similar impact on controlling the polluting of the planet. After all, it isn’t just the efforts of one person but the combined efforts of several people that are making the difference. Second, there is no reason why efforts can not be made to both since they aren’t mutually exclusive. Third, keeping people alive for the short term isn’t going to matter much if there isn’t anything to keep them alive for.

  12. It takes a lot of discipline to ‘live green’ it is so much easier to be a junkie right along with the rest of the world. But every little bit counts so if some one is able to do it I commend them and hope them the best.

  13. oh dude !i knew this guy once who lived green for along time until someone pulled a chicken bone out of his throat!

  14. living green benefits everyone, even those who are in need. by protecting environments in which the world’s poorest people live, we can increase their overall health and make it possible for them to practice agriculture near their homes. there are so many ‘brownfields’ in destitute areas: blighted by pollution and waiting for rebirth. there are large tracts of land just begging to be cultivated using micro-farming techniques, or permaculture techniques, that can provide not just food but healthier food! permaculture also stresses sharing food and talents according to each person’s ability: earth care and people care.

    trash is often dumped and transported near the homes of the poor. by cutting down on waste we can reduce the frequency and size of these trips, and cut down on the energy needed to haul them. recycling and reusing products is the best way to kick-start this process.

    i sincerely appreciate your concern for all the people in the world. a part of caring about people is caring about their environment. you yourself noted that these folks are already among the greenest there are, by using what resources they have wisely and avoiding waste and disposal issuses. i’d counter that we could ALL follow that path, consume less, therefore waste less, and help all of us have a healthier home and live healthier lives.

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