The Eco-friendly Dilemma of Small Towns
Updated: Oct 30, 2020
The importance of being an eco-conscious member of society is rising in today's consumer driven world. Luckily, there are an increasing amount of products or services that are easy on our environment. However, in a town where such goods are unpopular and unavailable, what can a consumer do? Here are three simple ways you can be a conscious consumer in a small town.
1. Shop locally
Panaderia La Catedral, located in Nogales, Arizona (Source: Kendal Blust, Nogales International)
Although many local business may not be able to afford to use sustainable raw materials or packaging, supporting local businesses instead of large franchises or chains is good practice. In context, small businesses operate in smaller locations, which in turn, have a smaller impact on the environment. While, the opposite can be said about larger companies who use more energy and resources. However, not only ecological factors play into the benefits of localism. By purchasing local, it supports the economy by keeping funds within the community. As an added bonus, local shops such as bakeries, restaurants or boutiques offer a local charm that is completely unique to the area!
2. Purchase clean products
Identifying Palm-Oil Derivatives 101, Selvabeat, (Source: https://www.selvabeat.com/home/2015/6/3/identifying-palm-oil-derivatives-101)
There are a myriad of chemical additives in many popular skincare items. Read the labels on ingredient lists thoroughly. Does the product contain harmful oils such as vegetable or palm oils? Are there Siloxanes (Silicones) or BHA or BHT (chemical preservatives) in your skin care products? These additives are not only harmful to the environment, but are harmful to your skin. Products are made to be cost-efficient and preserved. However, this method of making money is not always the most ethical solution. Research into the products you purchase to ensure you are aware of any additives that can potentially hurt you or the environment, or both.
For more information about palm oil, read more in this article:
3. Educate yourselves and other
Lastly, education is the key to equip communities to make better, conscientious decisions for everyday life. There is enough rhetoric that manipulates those who are unwillingly ignorant in smaller communities. An issue such as climate change should not be a political debate, but a concern for all. Reading unbiased articles, researching and participating in discourses related to current issues such as environmental policies or concerns may further expand your knowledge on the truth. It may be difficult to attain, especially in smaller communities where there are specific biases that surround its members, but it is possible. Help yourself and others break free from biases of small communities and develop your own outlook on the environment and act accordingly. One person can make a big change, especially in small communities.
Director of Operations at NOGECO
Full time student at the University of Arizona. Passionate about the environment, finances and coffee.