Monday, February 06, 2006

Change your world


Wanna change the world? You can. It’s easier than you think. A genuine desire to help the world you live in can motivate decisions that have far reaching impacts—further, perhaps, than you might imagine.

Many of the items that will appear in this blog are things you’ve heard before. For example, you know its good to recycle, and yeah, of course giving blood can save lives—but for some reason, maybe you don’t make these things happen? Time and money are so precious, and it’s not worth the trouble to change the way you are just to save a tree or two, right? Well, it is precisely that misconception that this blog seeks to change. Though some of you may learn a new way in which to effect positive change in the world, my hopes are that most of you come away with a realization that it is in fact cost and time effective to change the world. In fact, is not so much about changing the world, as it is about changing your world, because more often than not, an aspect of your life changes for the better.

A wipe at an example

Take for instance toilet paper. Most of us use a little bit (or a lot...a-HEM) of the stuff every day. Some of us like delicate patterns, while others appreciate soothing scents, but I’ll bet the majority are fine with anything—as long as it’s better than the cheap stuff found in most freeway rest areas. Well, as it turns out, current toilet paper use adversely affects Asthma conditions in children, municipal tax rates, and exposes users to carcinogenic toxins.


How can that nice little roll be doing so much harm in our society? It smells! The answer lies in an economic principle known as “negative externalities”. The production of toilet paper involves processes that increase air pollution and thus increase a child’s risk of developing Asthma. Incidentally, more Asthma cases draw even more upon limited medical resources, driving up the cost of health care. The disposal of used toilet paper (yuck!) is no easy task, and sucks up municipal tax revenues. The more toilet paper we use, the more money is spent getting rid of it, the higher our tax rates (or maybe we’ll be lucky and city politicians will just axe educational funding). And the cancer? Well, many bath tissues contain formaldehyde, artificial fragrance, dyes, and dioxins--some of which have been shown to cause cancer in rats.

So, the question is, do you consider improving children’s health, redirecting tax dollars towards areas like education, preserving the environment, and saving water--all while you reduce your own risk for getting cancer--changing the world? I do. That’s why I buy recycled toilet paper instead of regular toilet paper (usually for roughly the same price).

Wanna change the world? Stay tuned for easy-to-do everyday things that truly make a difference. The power of one should never be underestimated.


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