You've probably noticed that green is everywhere these days--in the news, politics, fashion, and even technology. You can hardly escape it on the Internet, and now with the Planet Green TV network, you can even enjoy eco-friendly entertainment 24 hours a day. That's all great as far as we're concerned, but with a million messages and ideas coming at us from all sides, it can be easy to get caught up in the quotidian stuff--switching to organic foods, turning down the thermostat, recycling, say -- without thinking about the big picture of how your actions stack up. Worse, you could even be suffering from a little green "fatigue" -- that is, tuning out the green messages due to their ubiquity.
While it's easy to get overwhelmed, it's also simple to begin making a positive impact. Since it's helpful to understand the big picture when it comes to setting to smaller goals, we've adjusted our focus for this guide--a departure from out typical "how to go green" content, which typically tackles very specific topics such as kitchens, cars, orpets -- to take a broader look at the reasons behind why we should go green.
As globalization makes the world become smaller, it becomes increasingly easy to see how the lives of people (and plants and animals and ecosystems) everywhere are closely synced up with one another. So toys made in China can affect the quality of life in Europe, pesticides used in Argentina can affect the health of people in the U.S., and greenhouse gas emissions from Australia can affect a diminishing rainforest in Brazil.
The truth is that everything single thing we do every day has an impact on the planet -- good or bad. The good news is that as an individual you have the power to control most of your choices and, therefore, the impact you create: from where you live to what you buy, eat, and use to light your home to where and how you vacation, to how you shop or vote, you can have global impact. For example, did you know that 25 percent of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from flora that come from the Amazon rainforest? And that less that one percent of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists? These numbers suggest that we all have a large (and growing) personal stake in the health and vitality of places far and near. In addition to protecting biodiversity (and inspiring medicine), rainforests are also excellent carbon sinks. Bottom line: It benefits everyone on the planet to help keep our wild spaces alive and growing.
But embracing a greener lifestyle isn't just about helping to preserve equatorial rain forests, it can also mean improving your health, padding your bank account, and, ultimately, improving your overall quality of life. All that and you can save furry animals, too? Why wouldn't anyone want to green? Keep reading for all the important, big-picture details.