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Why go green?

You’ve likely noticed that “going green” is everywhere these days—in the news, politics, technology, and even fashion. You can hardly escape it from most angles of your life. But, what’s the real point of going green, and is it worth the trouble? We probably all have a general idea that going green helps the environment and saves resources and rainforests. But embracing a greener lifestyle isn’t just about helping to preserve rain forests; it is also about improving your health, saving you money and ultimately, improving your overall quality of life.

While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the stream of “go green” information everywhere, it’s also easy to begin making a positive impact. As globalization decreases the size of the planet in terms of contact, communication, and interaction with people around the world, it becomes increasingly easy to see how the lives of people, animals, plants, and ecosystems everywhere are closely tied to one another. So, pesticides used in Bolivia can affect the health of people in the U.S. Toys made in China can affect the quality of life in Europe and greenhouse gas emissions from Australia can affect a thinning rainforest in Brazil.

The truth is, everything we do, every day, good or bad, has an impact on the planet.

The good news is that you have the power to control most of your choices at the individual level and, therefore, control the global impact you create when you make choices involving:

• Where you live
• Who you contract with
• What you buy, eat, and use
• Where and how you vacation
• How you shop or vote

For example, did you know that 25% of all western pharmaceuticals are derived from plants that come from the Amazon rainforest? As it turns out, less than one percent of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists. These numbers suggest that we all have a large personal stake in the health and vitality of places near and far. It benefits everyone on the planet to help keep our wild spaces alive and growing.