Part 7 – “Story of Stuff” Series
Positive changes are happening all around us. Farmer’s Markets and organic gardening practices are on the rise. People are becoming more concerned about chemical exposure electing to make or purchase green cleaning products.
Organics are the fastest growing product in our grocery stores and stores are offering more chemical-free options across many product lines. Target plans to double organic and sustainable product brands with it’s Made to Matter campaign. I more frequently see organic food donated to the local food bank.
More products are boasting “less packaging”, “no high fructose corn syrup”, and “non-GMO”. Nestle USA says they are eliminating artificial flavor and colors from their chocolates by the end of the year – over 250 products and 10 brands. More paper products have the “Sustainable Forestry Initiatives” label.
Over 60 countries have either banned or limited the use of genetically modified foods (GMO). The US public is becoming more informed and businesses are hearing our voice – Many stores including Costco, Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Target say they won’t stock GMO salmon even if it is approved. McDonalds is converting to hormone-free chicken and milk products. No doubt, competing companies will quickly follow suit.
And locally, kindred spirits are in motion. The local Sierra Club is vocal and active. River stewards from all over the state are involved with Missouri River Relief and thousands of MO Clean Stream teams. Boonvillians have embraced Pick-Up Boonville activities.
Great strides have been made in the solar industry rolling out more affordable and productive products. Solar panels are producing energy locally – Imhoff Hometown Appliance, our high school, homes and businesses. Missouri Solar Solution has moved to into town and a Renewable Energy Associates degree is now offered at our State Fair Community College local campus.
Our high school students are becoming informed and speaking up. An article in a recent student paper insert voiced health concerns about Astroturf exposure and the FCCLA group is involved with Breathe Easy Boonville, speaking on behalf of our workers exposed to second-hand smoke.
Student bodies and other groups are challenging institutions with carbon based investments. Droughts in California, melting glaciers and rising seas make it harder for skeptics to deny climate change realities. The media is more frequently exposing the damages caused by climate change and carbon based industries while renewable energy technology is improving and becoming more cost competitive. The recent United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) was successful, 195 world leaders signed a pact to aggressively reduce carbons and shift to clean renewable energy.
As the public becomes more informed, our voices will become louder. Hopefully we will then elect more forward thinking leaders who have the fortitude and wisdom to focus on the long-term health of our bodies and Earth. We go to great efforts to feed, clothe, nurture, love and provide for our children and grandchildren; all that effort is for naught if we don’t nurture the very Earth they need to sustain them.
The Story of Stuff Series
Part I – “My Beloved Stuff”
Part 2 – “The Costs of Stuff”
Part 3 – “Bring on the Stuff”
Part 4 – “Stuff Build-Up”
Part 5 – “Stuff Becomes Trash”
Part 6 – “Consumer Treadmill Pause”
Part 7 – “Healthier Consumer Practices”