Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Eco-Coaches: Paving the way to Eco-Ease?

“Eco-Coach offers sustainability consulting solutions for individuals and businesses interested in making a positive environmental and social impact.”

What a whirlwind past few days! We had visitors all weekend and really had a great time visiting and entertaining. But I have to say I was so glad to finally put my feet up last night. I had been waiting all weekend for the chance to crack open the newest issue Food & Wine magazine. It is one of my favorite magazines because much of its focus is on the ecological aspects of wine and food. I always seem to learn something new and interesting in each new issue (so important for me as I don’t get out much anymore), and this issue was no exception!

As I curled my toes contentedly, thumbing through the magazine backwards, as I have a tendency to do, an article on green living, by Henry Alford, caught my eye. The title contained a term, “eco-coach,” that I had never encountered before.

I hate when I don’t know a word, so I had to interrupt my toe curling and go to my own personal oracle of wisdom, google! A short bit of research, I discovered that Eco-Coach, founded by a woman named Anca Novacovici, facilitates individuals and business to live more ecological lives and run more ecological businesses. Brilliant, I thought, and read on…

This particular eco-coach went through the writer’s apartment, giving helpful eco advice rather than embarrassing critiques. One piece of advice that interested me most was that the eco-coach strongly suggested discontinued use of canned goods because they are lined with a plastic that contains Bisphenol-A.

Bisphenol-A, the article continues, has been not only linked to obesity but also to both breast and prostate cancer. In fact, according to Wikipedia, this chemical has been suspected of being hazardous to humans since the 1930’s(!) and has only recently been gaining press regarding its hazardous nature (perhaps only now scientists can see its long-term effects?). It is profoundly prevalent in food and drink containers, from drinking water bottles to baby bottle to...canned foods.

This gave me a weird feeling. It gave me pause for thought. Do you ever think about how packaged everything we eat and drink is? And how hard it is to buy things not encased in plastic in some way, shape, or form? Or how few alternatives there are (although more and more companies are doing their part to stop over packaging) to plastics? Even if you buy in bulk, what do you use to house it? The plastic bag you were so conveniently provided with—that’s what you use, nine times out of ten.

But there are alternatives; they just aren’t all that convenient. You can use your cleaned glass bottles as containers for bulk items, stainless steel or glass containers can replace your plastic water bottle, there are ways to escape plastics use but it requires a lot of time, energy, and forethought.

I think that eco-coaching is a wonderful new innovation and sincerely hope that this will help individuals and businesses easily transition to more environmentally friendly practices. I also hope that they can make being an environmentalist and conscious consumer a little easier. I am tired of going through mental gymnastics every time I go to the grocery store trying to make the most eco-friendly choices I can while maintaining my sanity. I hope that future environmental alternatives are mainstream and that living in an eco-friendly manner will no longer be a decision but rather a way of life.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I never heard of this. Great post. Can we have you guest post this again on Eco Women? Email me or comment back and let me know.

Jo said...

Of course! How can I email you? I am having problems with my computer but I can go down to Kinkos to email. That's why I havn't been a very good blogging friend--my computer is really on its last legs but we can't quite yet afford a new one, hopefully by next month. I feel like I'm in the stoneage! But anyway, you have my permission to use it any way you want, if you want to post the whole thing or just use the info! Thanks for the compliment too! It was hard to write because I'm not naturally a scientifically minded person, but I am really into the environment so...glad you liked it!