[GRRN] Earth Day News Coverage

RecycleWorlds (anderson@msn.fullfeed.com)
Fri, 23 Apr 1999 08:46:32 -0500


04:05 PM ET 04/22/99
Environmentalists Give New Tips
Environmentalists Give New Tips
Associated Press Writer=
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Thursday was Earth Day. So what should people
do to help the environment? Not necessarily what they have been
told, according to a new guide to a greener world.
The word from two environmentalists is not fret over whether to
use plastic or paper bags, cloth or disposal diapers, or those
convenient disposable plastic foam cups and plates that caused such
a stir a few years ago.
The impact is not all that much anyway, say the authors of ``The
Consumer Guide to Effective Environmental Choices.''
The answer to a better environment, argue Warren Leon and
Michael Brower, lies elsewhere: what you eat, what you drive and
the kind of house you buy.
``Some consumer decisions, like whether to choose paper or
plastic grocery bags, are insignificant,'' says Leon, deputy
director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The best way to reduce harm to the environment, say Leon and
physicist Brower, is to focus on food consumption patterns,
transportation and where people live.
``Driving less and buying a cleaner car are the best things
people can do for the environment,'' Brower says.
One of the top priorities, according to the guide, is to eat
less red meat and poultry and more grains and vegetables. In fact,
they say, people should eat less and recycle more.
The authors say household meat and poultry consumption is
responsible for about one-quarter of the threat to natural
ecosystems and wildlife. Meat and poultry operations consume large
amounts of water, pollute waters with animal runoff and use land
inefficiently, according to the guide.
Leon and Brower also say it is important to choose carefully
when buying a home so that it is near public transportation,
reducing the need to drive, and has efficient lighting, heating and
The advice is not likely to set well with the growing number of
people buying sport utility vehicles and minivans, which generally
are not as fuel efficient or clean-burning as other vehicles. Nor
is the guidance pleasing the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
``Calorie for calorie, producing meat uses far less energy than
producing fruits or vegetables,'' said Ann Soli, a spokesman for
the beef association.
``And people love to see big open spaces and cattle grazing. The
alternative if we want to get rid of ranches is going to be
shopping malls and track houses.''

Peter Anderson
RecycleWorlds Consulting
4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011