By the time I was finally done checking out all the booths and exhibitions at the Green Living Show this weekend, I felt a bit greened out. Maybe it was the overt consumerism and the throngs of people elbowing one another to get free samples of biodegradable vegetable wash and organic granola. Or maybe it was the fact that my media pass was not only made from recycled paper but attached to a shoelace proclaiming “I used to be a pop bottle!” Or it could have just been the occasional waft of body odour and wheatgrass. Either way, it was all a bit much.
However, what made the trip worthwhile (other than the complimentary bike tune-up — thanks, Duke’s!) was Margaret Atwood‘s interview with George Monbiot, the popular Guardian columnist and author of Heat. He appeared via LongPen from his home in Wales and was very articulate; it was nice to see an environmentalist so compelling and yet so rational. I learned why biofuel is far from being a green solution, how a trans-Atlantic flight negates in a couple seconds an entire lifetime of composting, recycling and solar panelling, and also why those who think it’s too late to try to stop global warming are just plain wrong.
Listening to him for one hour left me with plenty to ponder and was considerably more valuable than any product or brochure kit. Hence my next green change: to make sure I spend some part of each day educating myself about the environment. It might include reading a book like Heat, talking to the owner of a store like Grassroots, watching a documentary about corn, or just scanning all the green blogs. And no, shopping online for stylish tote bags does not count.