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Friday, May 8, 2009

Do You Have Green Integrity Or Do You Just Want Green Income?

As global warming and climate change become apparent, more people begin to consider the effect on the environment and the rainforest, wildlife, but are there enough ordinary people, youth, seniors, and people who are disabled getting the message?

Is this green economy just for the elite, rich and famous, or those who are employed at a fair wage?

Who controls the green economy, tests wages and prices for fairness, corporate responsibility, sustainability, and determines how all can benefit?

When the green building industry builds housing, what parameters does it use to consider accessibilty and affordability for the population that most needs this housing--yet over 70% are unemployed and live at or below poverty?

What about homeless people? Students? The local grocer or convenience store, which sells to them? The laundromat operators and cleaners where they wash or have their clothes washed or dry cleaned? Are the wet cleaners willing and able to provide affordable prices, so that everyone can afford this green cleaning process for clothes they can't wash themselves?

Is fair trade really fair if the local people cannot support the prices, because they themselves need a green collar job or fair trade for their work or products?

How can a family of six living in poverty, or a person who is disabled and lives on a mere $674 SSI monthly income in a neighborhood that has no major grocery store, where the cost of living is high, no affordable accessible transportation isnearby, there is no land to grow their own food and ere is little or no access to local organic farms pay fair trade prices or eat organic every meal without sacrificing his or her own need for food and lower energy and transportation costs?

How many ordinary people living in urban or rural America really comprehend the consequences of their purchases, what they eat, how they grow their food, what they use to wash their cars and skin, or clean their homes and bedding?

I encourage people who are disabled, seniors and youth to change to a plant-based, low carbon diet, and teach them how to live green, think green and go after green collar jobs or create their own green careers.

I write about reducing our carbon print wile becoming more aware of our responsibility as stewards over the Earth and our own thoughts. Instead of killing the planet's resources, creative ideas from bright, young minds, and each other, I teach them to live with green integrity.

As more people go green, costs will be reduced, nontoxic cosmetics will be preferred, and toxic food and cleaning products will be removed from the market due to low demand or corporate responsibility toward sustainability and carbon neutrality.

We will need creative ideas from bright, young minds and workers with expert advice from the retirement community and disability community to work with scientists, government and the green engineers of the present and future.

We need people who are spiritually sustained or have green integrity to lead the way out of poverty, and teach others without blaming them for not knowing the way.

We will need a community information infrastructure that is open to most community members regardless of income or ability, where all who can use technology can access the information even if they have visual or hearing deficits or disabilities, mobility disabilities, or intellectual disabilities--yet may be able to accept information in manageable tidbits that allow them to choose the green action that they believe in.

This means for those who do not have the Internet or are shut up at home, we will need community information on an energy grid that does not shut down at 5 p.m. on Friday or Saturday when the library closes or is not open on Sundays.

In fact, we may need to consider bringing the technology into community buildings and worship centers that are open after library and school hours, laundromats, senior buildings and large grocery stores, in the form of a bandwidth that runs on solar energy, is cost effective or paid for out of energy savings and does not increase carbon emissions or at least not significantly.

Though there are Internet cafes, most are not accessible to people who use wheelchairs,are blind, or have low wealth. Municipalities and rural government will need to provide the information through these energy grids so as to reach all homes that need it and all people who need it. There should be a national program with a clock in major cities and the Capitol to track our greenhouse gas emissions or at least the carbon emissions, so that everyone can track reduction or increase in emissions. Some bright inventor may be able to place this in the form of wristband technology or technology that can be worn on other parts of the body.

Wouldn't that be a "doable" job for a young student or person with a disability to learn how to install and maintain in the U.S.A. without needing to outsource the job overseas? Student and persons overseas will be too busy installing and maintaining systems and grids in their own countries.

Then more people can have access to fair and living wages and self-employment.

As the founder of the Green Think Tank for the Disability Community, I am working to establish a Green Paratransit Van Pool, green careers and green collar jobs for people who are disabled, green artists, green bloggers, green housing coops owned collectively by people who have disabilities, and work with inventors and rehab engineers to provide solar-operated assistive technology, wheelchairs, computers, healthcare equipment, etc., in IL , then replicate projects in other states.

Therefore, I ask, do you have green integrity or are you just looking for an opportunity to have a green collar job, a green contract, a green career or a green meal once in awhile?

People who dreamed of the earth being round, flying in an airplane, traveling by a vehicle with a combustible engine, and talking by telephone used to be considered foolish or working on impossible ideas. Yet, here we have air travel, cells phones, hybrid vehicles, rooftop gardens, flash drives, GPS technology, and solar-powered heating units.

Why can't we dust off our dreams and ideas for a better world and make it greener for everybody, even domestic animals, and in the process not compromise our character, integrity, or planetary harmony?

Think about It!

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