Sometimes I ask myself what being "green" means. UC Davis is a very "green" campus, but I realize that I have not been thinking about what changes I am making in my life to contribute to Davis' title of being green. Coming from Fresno, the city that's impossible to become green, I don't think about how I can help the environment. The Be Green Challenge will be the first step in making me think about my lifestyle and my consumer mentality.
For example, I don't look at a product and think, "gee, I wonder how this product was produced and manufactured." After reading the article "Santa's Sweatshop," I began re-thinking about manufactured products - how it's made, who makes it, what happens when it's made. I've thought about the hard labor that goes on behind manufactured goods before, but never gave it more than a mere recognition. This Go Green Challenge will force me to keep these thoughts on my mind and hopefully with practice, being a green consumer will become a habit.
Honestly, I'm a bit worried about being a green consumer, especially because it is the holidays. I think one way I can approach buying gifts this year is to think about how people will react when I explain to them how their brand name gifts are produced. Like the writer of "Santa's Sweatshop" said: "But if kids knew how some of these gifts were made, it might cast a decided pall on their holiday".
As a newbie to thinking green, I've been going through youtube for tips on shopping for clothes when I really do need something for a special occasion. Alegre from Ember Living has really good tips on how to be green when it comes to clothing. She gives really good alternatives to buying second-hand clothes from thrift shops and buying clothes in general. I will definitely being using some of her tips when I cannot stop my consumer side!
This challenge will be hard for me as someone who never really considered going green, but I think in the long run, it will benefit me. Besides, as a student, I need to stop the consumer in me! I look forward to an interesting month ahead!