Living in California, I realize that my view of the world is considered "skewed" and sometimes whacky. What can I say, I've lived here since I was six, so it's just what it is. I'm not an extremist of any sort, but I do understand trying to do little things to keep our world a little healthier.
Amongst our circle of friends, we believe in trading on Craigslist and Freecycle. We recycle and shop at farmers' markets. I can't say that any of us go out of our way to do other things such as buy eco-friendly materials or live more simply.
The one thing that is making me think more is the practice of buying locally and seasonally. Now that foods (except processed foods) must display their country of origin, I wonder if people will make different choices knowing this? When I've browsed the product aisles, I've put things back after seeing labels reading "Product of Chile." I mean, I love blueberries, but do I need to buy them in January from a country 9000 miles away? No, I will wait until they are from Central Valley in June.
Some people rationalize that it's okay because transportation is cheap and we're supporting their economy and creating jobs. But do we really know that? Could we actually be making them too dependent on foreign economies, destroying more land for farming, and discouraging innovation for a quick buck? I also tend to think the importation of cheap goods and government subsidies make people focus on price rather than quality. This is where all the rhetoric is lost on me. I want to do the right thing, but there doesn't seem to be a simple answer.
If you apply that practice to all foods, tropical fruits such as bananas and mangoes are pretty much non-existent. How can a kid not have bananas? And man, I'd miss mangoes.