Size is a featured component of many topics of conversation, and in living green, the question as to whether or not size does really matter is entertained often.
Size is mentioned in discussions of many facets of life, including, but not limited to portion size, clothing size, family size, house size, sexual endowment and so on. In each case, the reference of size is important when it comes to living green.
Why is size important?
So many decisions that we make are influenced or should be influenced by size. The very size of a paycheck and budget determines an individual’s ability to live and function in society. The size of one’s indebtedness contributes to a person’s happiness, stability and the ability to raise a family, get an education and live a wholesome life. The size of a family’s food budget determines their ability to eat nutritious food. The size of one’s ego impacts his/her self perception.
Of course, we know that serving size is a very important component of a healthy diet. To that end, we can find specifications on the amount of food we should eat in a meal, as well as the actual size of the plate that should be used to limit the portion size. Consideration of portion size also can be applied to control the percentages of meat, vegetables and carbohydrates that should occupy our plates at any given time. The subject of size has led to a criticism by nutritionists of the fast food industry and its practice of advertising “super size meals” for a small additional price. Also, moviegoers are familiar with the policy at most theaters whereby the purchase of giant size bags of popcorn and drinks earn patrons free refills. The increase in the size of our meals has led to weight increase and ever-expanding abdominal girth in so many Americans, along with the accompanying adverse health consequences of obesity, diabetes, back and joint pain, infertility and hypertension.
Clothing size and body size also are major topics of conversation in the fashion industry. Shopping for clothes often is difficult because there is no uniformity in clothing sizes. Sizes of clothes, particularly for women, vary widely by brands. This forces consumers to spend considerable time, energy and fuel traveling to different stores trying to find clothes that fit. In that living green includes being healthy and stress free, the dilemma of clothes size negatively impacts those efforts.
Also, the issue of body size must be considered in any efforts to live green. Perception of a healthy body size is important, and we need realistic guidelines, both to achieve and maintain this. Unrealistic expectations for body size can be emotionally and physically damaging, leading to harmful practices such as unhealthy dieting, binging and purging, and even psychiatric problems of anorexia that can be fatal. As we are constantly bombarded with visual images of thin models and beautiful clothes only available in small sizes, many people struggle to achieve these looks and fit those clothes, not realizing that often the people depicted in these pictures are airbrushed and images are electronically altered to give an appearance that is false. It is important to accept that body size is important, but that we must be realistic and acknowledge the major contribution of genes to our appearance. We should adhere to a healthy diet, exercise and maintain a balanced weight but not go to extremes to look like models in the media.
Another area where size is a major concern is in the housing industry where builders keep constructing larger houses and mass marketing efforts constantly remind us that we need more living space in our dwellings. As a result, we cut down more trees to clear areas for houses. We build more roads and supporting structures for our new larger communities, reducing open green space. We assume larger mortgages to pay for our more expensive houses. We endure higher energy bills to heat and cool our super sized houses. We buy more furniture and objects to fill our houses. The bottom line is that we are drowning in debt and working longer hours to pay for all of this. Sometimes we feel like hamsters on treadmills, and that is neither healthy nor green. This is an instance where size does really matter. It can make the difference between a wholesome fulfilling lifestyle and sheer misery.
Family size is important in green living. In modern times, families are smaller than they were many years earlier. Increased housing and other costs of living have forced most families to rely on both parents as wage earners. As a result, people tend to have fewer children due to time and money constraints. Some countries, such as China, have legally enforced limits on family size for purposes of population control. Clearly when it comes to family, size does matter.
Lastly, size often comes up when discussing sexual relationships. Hollywood and popular culture have forced sexual endowment to the forefront of relationship issues. Living green includes healthy and satisfying interpersonal relationships. In choosing a mate, it is important that such selection include character, morals, values and compatibility and not just physical attributes such as sexual endowment, breast and hip size. Here size matters but should not be the primary consideration.
It is important that we learn to live green, and from the examples given, we can see that size does really matter. In our efforts to adopt a green lifestyle, we have a lot to consider. As we look at ways to live sustainably, we have to take time and size up the situation carefully. To do so is to live green, be green.
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