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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

October 2013 Publisher Letter

Sep 27, 2013 01:08PM

Years ago, people that cared about the environment were called hippies; today, it’s hip to embrace a lifestyle that focuses on sustainable practices and taking care of the planet. Most states now have rebate programs to encourage everyone to use less energy. Plus grocery store aisles stock scores of products claiming to be better for the environment.

But the principle of “buyer beware” applies here as everywhere: A growing number of pioneering companies are making good strides toward sustainable practices. But more are spending a lot of money to make themselves appear to be “green” in the public eye when they aren’t even close and are, in fact, flagrantly denigrating the environment. It’s a practice called greenwashing.

Because the leading challenges of climate change explored in Christine MacDonald’s feature article are too important to us to allow ourselves to be distracted by lies, it’s vital that we learn how to recognize greenwashing. A good rule of thumb is when a business or organization spends more time and money claiming to be green through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact.

While we applaud every baby step, it’s time to get serious in big ways. GreenWashingIndex.com is a great resource to visit to become better informed and see how to easily recognize greenwashing in media campaigns. Avoiding culprits is one way we can help support real environmental change.

Buying food locally is another way to benefit the environment. Well managed farms provide ecosystem services: They conserve fertile soil, protect water sources and foster plantings that sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Their farm environment is a patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds and buildings that provide community wildlife habitat.

In choosing local products, we cut down on the consumption of packaging materials, transportation fuel and long-distance refrigeration. Many small-scale, local farms focus on sustainable practices, such as minimized pesticide use, no-till agriculture and composting, few food-miles to consumers and light to no packaging for their farm products—all positives for the environment.

Palmyra Real Food Emporium, Brown’s Orchards & Farm Market, Spiral Path Farms CSA, Farmer’s On Walnut and Fraiche Restaurant are examples of local food initiatives, as is Betsy’s Bakery in Camp Hill, which is the location for the inaugural lunch meeting of the Natural Networking Group on October 24th. Whether you’re a consumer or a natural health, wellness or sustainable business, we hope to see you there.

As always, thank you for supporting our advertisers; their participation allows us to bring you this free healthy living, healthy planet magazine each month. We are grateful. Enjoy the foliage and remember to feel good, live simply and laugh more!

Dave Korba, Publisher

October 2019