Posted by Jaipaul Massey-Singh on April 29th, 2009
When talking to people about buying green I feel it’s important to point out that being a green consumer can take many forms or “shades”. There’s being green by buying local in an effort to reduce one’s carbon footprint. There’s being green by following the three R’s. There’s being green through efficient use of fuel and energy. All these shades lessen our impact on the planet; some even have the benefit of improving our personal wellbeing. That said there is a shade of green that provides a third benefit: safeguarding the health of those involved in the production of the goods we buy; and that’s through buying organic; particularly when it comes to cotton.
Conventional cotton is one of the world’s most chemically treated crops, consuming 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals and 25 percent of insecticides. That adds up to 1/3 of a kilogram of chemicals just to produce enough cotton for a single pair of jeans! The impact of all this chemical usage however isn’t felt by those wearing the clothing in question but rather by those that must live around and work with the cotton crops on a day-in-day-out basis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 20,000 deaths occur each year from pesticide poisoning in developing countries, many of those from cotton farming. (more…)