When people talk to me about my earth convictions they ask me whether or not “going green” is just a current trend? Admittedly I have to tell them that it is, I mean, Hollywood has latched on to it so tight that “green” could be the new “gay”. Yet I also remind them that Al Gore has been fighting global warming since he was a senator from Tennessee in the early 80’s. This was not a cause he picked up in his free time after losing (winning?) the 2000 election. It is just that a lot of things have come to a head in recent years (i.e. gas prices, advances in green technology) that have raised the annual temperature and a few eyebrows. Regardless, green is still in.
The problem with any type of fad is that you have to shell out a lot of… um… green just to get on board. Ironically, the green fad is no exception. It seems that you have to spend more in order to join a movement that encourages people to consume less. Do you see the problem with this? I really think you are missing the point if you go out and spend $80 on organic underwear just to return home and throw you old pairs into a river. Yes, green products do cost a little more. That can’t be avoided. Even still, things like energy-efficient light bulbs and cloth diapers could save you a little money in the long run. Counting on consumerism to save the planet is a bad course of action.
People are wired to consume. It is what living on this planet is all about. The problem lies in consuming irresponsibly. Buying more green products than you need does not solve the problem. Rather, living a green lifestyle is doing the little things that will reduce waste and enhance your lifestyle at the same time. My wife and I try to grow some of our own vegetables. We don’t have a combine or anything. We just have a 10’x10’ garden in our backyard. It’s therapeutic to spend an hour in the garden. And the vegetables taste a lot better than the ones you get at Wal-Mart.
I don’t know what the small step will be for you. But I know you can take one. I have some friends who used cloth diapers to save money. It turns out they saved a piece of the planet in the process. Don’t think that going green is expensive. Ride your bike to work. Lose some weight and save some gas. Recycle Coke cans. Stick a cup in your car and use it at fast food restaurants instead of using paper cups. There is a new movement that encourages people to stop wasting their leftovers. Look closely and you are sure to find something that you can do (or not do) for the sake of the planet. Going green is not a fad. It is a lifestyle.