The most important contribution one can make to promote a green lifestyle is to raise awareness. What is the percentage of people that know about Global Climate Change? How many people know about GMO additives in the food they consume?
Only by raising the general public’s awareness of these matters can they become relevant in how we conduct our daily lives. The few of us who are aware of these matters do not live in a bubble. We need everyone to get on board – our youth in particular. And the easiest way to reach people is by television commercials. The average American not only watches several hours of TV daily, but also is exposed to hundreds of commercials and believes practically everything stated in those commercials. For example, there are commercials stating that:
- The oil spill has been cleaned up in the Gulf of Mexico and life goes on quite happily in New Orleans and Mississippi.
- the production of shale gas is safe and beneficial to land owners, will provide jobs in communities and will reduce our dependence on oil.
- That a thinner plastic water bottle will reduce waste.
We need more public health information to counteract the unhealthy and misguided information that the public is exposed to – similar to the adverse reaction warnings that pharmaceutical companies state at the end of their commercials for their drugs, or the commercials warning about the consequences of smoking, or the commercials that warn about the consequences of consuming too many sugary drinks. These commercials are admittedly a bit scary and they make you think – they create awareness. Even a recent cereal commercial announcing that it will no longer contain GMOs may lead one to ask “what’s a GMO?” or “why was that in my cereal in the first place?” or “What about other cereals, do they have it too?”
Perhaps, after a sugary cereal commercial aimed at kids their should be a warning that eating too many sugary cereals containing HFCS and color additives may lead to obesity, hyper-activity, etc. People will pay attention. Parents may realize that the convenience of snacking does not equate to adequate nutrition and Junior may ask daddy or mommy, “What’s obesity?” It won’t be easy to get these public service announcements aired, but the old adage is true – “Nothing easy is worthwhile.”