The Trouble with Going Green

When it comes to living a green lifestyle and reducing your carbon footprint, it can be a treacherous path full to the brim with insidious pitfalls. Because so much of human life depends on the infrastructure of mass production, it can be difficult to avoid contributing to pollution and, in turn, global warming and other disastrous environmental problems. I think we can all, with one HUGE exception (hint: conservatives, and, now, I’m not a liberal, either), agree that it’s worth it, but that’s not really the issue at hand at the end of the day. The real problem is just how ingrained destroying our environment is into the infrastructure and culture of the modern, industrialized world. It’s so easy to simply accept without a second thought some truly harrowing practices, simply because you don’t really see them happening and thus can’t necessarily fight them. This is where you must take it upon yourself to do the research, but even that only takes you so far. Many of us simply can’t afford to do right by our planet, because the most affordable things available to the lower class, which is also the biggest class, fyi, are often extremely detrimental the the environment, such as is the case with buying bottled water because your tap water is contaminated which then generates an absurd, almost comical if not for the tragedy of it, amount of plastic that’ll outlast us all without proper recycling. Recycling is, of course, another luxury many of us don’t have access to if it’s not free, for one thing, and picked up from your home in the same way garbage is. Then, of course, there’s the problem of all of us coming to depend on certain goods and services that are bad for the environment but that we have all been pigeonholed into needing to get by. For example, automobiles. The reckless consumption of fossil fuels is one of the biggest human contributions to global warming and pollution, but our society has been built around them since their inception in the early 20th century. You have to work to make a living, and you have to drive to work. Public transportation helps minimize the damage, but it’s not as widely available as it perhaps should be, especially in more rural areas, and it also doesn’t allow you full control over when you arrive at your destination, which society demands in situations regarding work and medical appointments, among many other things. The problems never really end, so it’s trickier than you think to combat these harmful trends. Even buying clothing from Bloomingdale’s, a necessary product for survival and social conformity, generates pollution on two levels at once. The manufacture of the clothing and the shipping both emit pollutants, after all. It might be prudent to try and live off the grid in every way possible, growing and/or hunting your own food, making your own clothing, shelter, tools, etc. As it stands, the commercial and capitalistic world we live in seems, at times, to have been designed from the ground up to destroy us all.

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