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Swedish frugality

To the Editor I read with interest the Guest Viewpoint by Keith Lockitch in the Oct. 27 issue of the Addison Eagle regarding environmentalism and buying green. Although I shy away from stereotyping of any individual (I think that we all have concerns and interests that we are passionate about), I do have a strong interest in the natural environment, both for natures sake and enjoyment by humans. I have never heard of Michael Ableman referenced in the Guest Viewpoint, but am in agreement that buying almost any material good does indeed have a negative impact on the natural environment. I think anyone who thinks that they are helping the environment by buying stuff, green or otherwise, is mistaken. This notion does fit nicely, though, with our consumer driven society. So what are we to do? We all need stuff food, fuel, clothing, appliances, building materials, and everything else that goes along with modern life. I think that we need to recognize that buying stuff is not saving the environment, but buying wisely and, yes, not buying stuff that you dont really need, will have less of a negative environmental impact. A little thought and reason can go a long way. Also, we should never marginalize things that are easy to do and habits that are easy to acquire such as recycling, turning off unnecessary lights (my Swedish frugality showing here), and turning off your car while waiting to pick up your kids. We humans do need the natural environment for our quality of lifenot the least of which are clean drinking water and clean air. We should do at least the simple things we can to keep environmental degradation in check and improve things when we can. Eric Hanson
Starksboro

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