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05 June 2007 @ 03:03 am
My Green Manifesto  
This started out as a personal "green living" manifesto, but it quickly spiraled off into a very non-specific set of goals.  I think that the core of me believes that the more information someone has the more likely or willing they would be to recognize their impact on the earth.  So in my mind this is still all related.  This what I have so far, but I would love to have input. 

Eventually I would like to create overarching goals and philosophies and following them up with ways to apply them to real life (I'm basing this off of the IDEA act).  I want to create a stable mix of theory, personal philosophy and practical application. 

Become a local and global citizen
    Through informed decisions, knowledge, community action
    Keeping up with the current news, having a better basic knowledge of history
       Staying updated with the latest environmental policy/social validity/etc, mostly through the NYT, as they report heavily on this.  The Seattle P.I. also has a great section on the environment, which makes the topic more local and approachable. 
    Keeping myself in good shape mentally and physically
       By eating less junk, especially few sugars and processed foods.  A good diet, in my opinion, is composed primarily of vegetables, fruits, and protein sources like cheese, eggs, beans, etc.  Meat is optional, although I already eat so little.  And for the sake of the environment (and possibly my body), through buying organic food when affordable. 
    Interaction with legislation on some level
       In a perfect world the government would subsidize organic farmers, and especially small-time farmers.  It  would also try to make locally grown foods the basis of school lunches.  I'd also like to see food-stamps (or their modern, credit card-like incarnation) made easier to use at farmer's markets. 
Become an informed, conscious consumer
    I think changing the demand of the consumer market can have an incredible effect on production
       I realize that the producer-consumer relationship is a complex one, but I also believe that fundamentally producers follow consumer demand.  If people, in large quantities, want to purchase organic food, organic  food will be made more accessible.  I want to help steer the market away from GM, overprocessed and inaccessible foods. 
Approach things analytically and recognize my own bias
    I know I tend to look at things through a liberal, middle class, positivist lens
    Don't follow things blindly when they fit into my preexisting ideas
       Which means researching ideas that I would normally agree with, and acknowledging that even though something sounds good...it may not necessarily be (e.g. the use of selected pesticides with organic crops)
Make a hierarchy of goals
    Because I can't accomplish everything
    (i.e. it would be ideal if Americans generally bought less shit, but since this isn't likely to happen I think we should aim to promote less harmful shit) (by "less harmful" I mean  organic, sustainable, more environmentally friendly, and/or healthier)
    I am having trouble deciding whether organic or local come as top priorities.  I'm finding that this tiered way of thinking presents more options and makes this all more accessible.  I've also added DIY (to an extent!) and fair-trade to my definition of "green" even though I can't justify them entirely in the context of environmentalism.

Steer clear of extremism and ideologies
    There isn't especially wrong with extremism, per se, but I want to maintain whatever semblance of credibility I have
       I think that attitudes that are compatible with conventional/average living have a greater impact and are the farthest reaching.   I think there is a greater benefit from most people going more eco-friendly than some going entirely eco-friendly.  I am glad the latter exists!
    I think even the most well intentioned ideology can stunt your thinking if you only view things within a certain context

This was, at first, meant to be a list of things I could personally do to cut down my footprint, but I think that list should be separate.
6.1.07 edit.  The parts in green show how I related this (originally just in my head) to environmentalism