The one-person revolution

Whenever people talk about social change beginning at home in the U.S., it generally begins with recycling – something you can make part of your daily life that is good for the planet. The effectiveness of this has been hotly debated (I like Cecil Adams’ take on it), but it remains widely embraced as one way to to at least reduce the beating the environment is taking.

For the more personally committed, organic food and hybrid cars were the next step in living responsibly. I was amazed enough that finding organic baby food was simply never a problem – when I saw Organic Rice Krispies at my mother-in-law’s house, I realized how mainstream this message had become. (If you’ve watched The Future of Food, obvious consumer demand for organic food does feel like a victory.)

Then yesterday, I read this: Vegetarian is the new Prius, and I wondered how far I can take things. Ever since my pregnancy, I have tried to buy more meats that promised no use of antibiotics, free range chicken, organic milk and greater use of soy as a protein. I’m not al that structured about it. I buy cheaper butter, my nearby grocery stores do not always carry the eco-friendlier choices and sometimes organic products are just really damn expensive. I figured as long as I was making some effort, it was better for my body and the earth. Now I’m seriously wondering if what I’m doing is enough.

And while we’re at it, in the spirit of movies like Blood Diamond and steaming cup of fair trade coffee here’s a story about products to avoid because of the violence and exploitation they foster.

VH1 is also airing a documentary that looks really interesting this week: Bling’d: Blood, Diamonds and Hip Hop.

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