This guest blog post is written by Elana Tsogt-Erdene, the first official intern for The Good Buy!
Hello from Cambridge, Mass.! It’s bittersweet on my last day here before the new school season starts up again, but I’d like to tell you about how my summer internship has strengthened my personal commitment to sustainability, and offer a few tips for you based on what I’ve learned.
Last spring, when I was deciding how to best spend the upcoming summer, I was intrigued when I came across The Good Buy and UUSC. “Good for Workers. Good for the Earth,” the website declared, and as someone who cares about both workers and the earth, I was more than a little curious. When I was offered the opportunity to spend the better half of my summer as the first ever Good Buy intern, learning the ins and outs of e-commerce, marketing, and merchandising with an earth-friendly angle, I welcomed the challenge and packed my bags.
The experience has been way more than I bargained for— in a very good way! Like many of us, I recycle, take public transportation, and turn off the faucet when brushing my teeth, but never before had I seriously considered the true implications of what it means for a bar of chocolate to be certified fair trade or utensils to be made from renewable eco-materials. I think about my three ingenious, mischievous, and hilarious younger siblings; they, like all children, are entitled to a world free of air pollution, a growing list of extinct plants and animals, oceans filled with trash, and foods grown with toxic chemicals. The average American throws away 4 pounds of trash a day. Nearly 700 plastic water bottles are tossed every minute. About 28 billion pounds of food a year (or roughly 25% of the U.S. food supply) is put in the garbage every year.
While change is difficult, I believe we can all take small steps to make a significant difference in the way we treat our world, and be a positive influence for our children. As my favorite Native American Proverb says, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” As consumers, we can all take the time to be a little kinder to the earth by making good choices. I know you’ll be thinking of bettering our world. And I’ll be thinking of your impact for social justice as I continue my studies at Mount Holyoke College.
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