The Luxury Tax Of Green Living Is Something We Cannot Afford

TRACEY HAMILTON – Until living a green lifestyle is affordable to everyone, there won’t be a true environmental impact.

Remember playing Monopoly and landing on the Luxury Tax square? Mumbles would follow as you handed over the fee and then continued rolling the dice. Suddenly, it feels like the roll of the dice has become less of a game, with inflation hitting levels not seen in decades. Life has become a lot more expensive.

Shop local, buy organic, purchase sustainable and support companies which have fair trade protocols. Buy less of better quality. These are the rules our household follows whenever we head to the store. But these rules are quickly becoming a privilege reserved for the few.

Green living is not a luxury, it is essential.

Good health is not a luxury, it too is an essential.

The two go hand in hand – we can’t have one without the other. We are intrinsically linked to the planet’s health. Yet, greener choices cost more – across the board – than cheaper alternatives which harm the environment. Round and round we go. Should it be a choice between affordability and health?

Whether it should be or not is a moot point. It already is the choice many households and individuals are making. Many households are already making difficult choices – food or heat? – green shouldn’t be one of them.

It takes time for ideas to move from the fringe to the mainstream – but we’ve had years of scientific evidence, of alarm bells ringing, of irreparable damage (i.e. extinctions). We are at a point now which has moved beyond byob – bring your own bag. It is time for low-waste, sustainable living to become the norm, not something reserved for those who can afford to pay the luxury tax of living green.

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