January 17, 2009
Friends of mine just recently remodeled their house, well basically tore it down and built a bigger house in its place. While visiting one night after it was finished, she showed us all the features and how eco-friendly it was.
The counters were made from recycled beer bottles, the bathroom cabinets were made with sustainable bamboo, they had all the latest in energy saving fixtures and appliances and used household paint that was free of VOCs. It is a lovely home and I was impressed until I started doing my research and saw how much those eco-friendly things cost.
It came to my attention that not everyone has the luxery of going green. I mean we can recycle, not waste, use less water and energy but when it comes to the buying eco-friendly clothes, eco-friendly candles or housewares, the price is so outrageous that the average person cannot afford them.
My husband mentioned the other day that the candle I was burning was all black around the top, making him think that what was being burnt isn’t good for the environment. And my reply to that was, “it isn’t, but we can’t afford to buy soy candles and these candles were given to us as a gift”.
It’s a Catch 22, if we as consumers would buy more of the items that are eco-friendly the price would go down, but the price is so high that the average person cannot afford to buy eco-friendly. What are we to do? `
There is strong evidence to support the fact that even air pollution is worse in the poorer neighborhoods. The air pollution being the worst in neighborhoods by the freeway, which, not coincidentally, are the largest number of poor households.
Check out this article from the Portland Monthly Magazine – Mind The Gap. It is a thought provoking article.