The Limits of Environmental Intuition…

So often these days, when buying or using, say, cosmetic products or groceries, I wonder about environmental impacts of producing and using the product. I am not always sure where to turn for accurate information or clarification. But more and more, I find myself opting for “safe” or “organic” ,despite a higher price, instead of the traditional or maybe “suspect” line of products. These every day purchases can make you think about your own enviromental foot print, and since this is household consumption, you have a good hunch what might or might not be bad for the environment. Replacing some awful chemical – whatever its intended household use – with something organic or less aggressive is probably a good starting point for reducing your footprint.

Then there are those environmental evils, way beyond the limits of your family or household or office  that you never think about because they are specific to some industry you’ve never heard of or spent time thinking about. When you read about what’s common practice there, you all the sudden realize how incredibly complex things are today. You realize that even if we all switched to bicycles and one light bulb per house to reduce CO2 emissions and cut back on all kinds of other waste at home, the modern, industrial world as we know it involves so many still hidden violations against nature and the environment that what little we may do at home to improve things would be – if not a drop in the bucket – a mere first step in the right direction. — I just came across a strange example for what I’m talking about – ballast water. If you’ve never heard of the term, follow the link and read the short description. I’m not saying this is among the greatest environmental problems we’re faced with. I’m saying it’s scary that a reasonably educated person who feels well informed about recognized environmental problems may not have seen more than the tip of the iceberg…

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