Two major pieces of legislation could help us tremendously in turning in the right direction. That and a focus on us, the people, and the problems our cities and governments are having. First piece of legislation: all new cars required to make at minimum 30mpg (city and highway) by 2012. This shouldn't be hard. I want it to be stricter even, requiring every state to have at least one or two ethanol stations, and car companies to offer more efficient cars than just by their gas consumption. But dang, the new Mustang? It makes 17 mpg in city. ??? I soo love the Shelby Mustang, but it actually does even worse.
Second piece of legislation: banish all use of high fructose corn syrup as a preservative in food. Talk about obesity? Do Americans eat more food than other countries? Heck no! The French and Japanese LOVE food. The difference? No high fructose corn syrup. That and not driving everywhere (while in Japan, we averaged about 8 miles of walking a day and took commuter trains everywhere). Ugh, I remember in Japan all the food… I felt like I was rolling out of my chair after meals but I didn't gain weight while there. France has the strictest food laws that do not allow hfcs or even wax in Snickers bars (okay, the wax thing I heard from someone, looking at the ingredients, I am not sure if it's true). Yup, they'll melt in your hands, like real chocolate would.
Frankly, these two items don't change any lifestyles. It affects the corporations that are cutting corners to make more profit so food can stay on shelves longer. We need to pass strong legislation that makes sense. Until then, some tips:
- if you are a soda person, switch to a soda that uses real sugar cane and no hfcs (Jones Soda, Switch, etc);
- buy cage-free eggs (not only do you feel much better about it, they taste awesome, like real eggs);
- stop using extreme chemicals to clean, they're bad for you and your furniture (water and vinegar work well, use apple cider vinegar for a nice smell, cleaner recipes are easy to find online);
- and all the basic stuff like compact fluorescent lightbulbs (contains very very small amount of mercury so dispose of properly), walking/biking/busing, put gas in vehicles after 7 p.m., don't eat after 7 p.m… oh, and buy plants for around the house (basil plants repel flies, and a citronella plant, of course, repels mosquitos)…
Okay, there's a TON of easy things we can do, and each small thing we do makes a big difference. We can't rely on the government to decide that we should really do something. We need to take pride in ourselves again and get back in the competition! The rest of the world is kicking our butts and doing everything better. Not that it's a bad thing other countries are improving… but we should too.