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The other day I was talking to a colleague, and he said something very startling to me. He said, “Going Green” is obsolete, passe.... and doesn’t mean much to people anymore”.
At first I was both enraged and perplexed. How could a concept so vital to the health and the survival of all living things be dead? After all, this is not some fad or trend, this is a movement sparked by the necessity to preserve the earth, and bringing awareness to how the irresponsible use of chemicals and poor management of resources are destroying it!
After taking a deep breath, however, and listening a little more closely, I began to understand what he meant. It wasn’t the meaning of “Going green” my colleague was referring to, but rather the term itself. In a world where things are constantly changing and new phrases are coined every day, I understand.
Although the term “Going Green” has evolved over the years taking on different shapes and forms, the core meaning and concept has not changed. It’s about how the irresponsible use of chemicals are destroying our earth, polluting the air and water, endangering aquatic life, and how modern practices and excessive waste are overburdening its ability to optimally rejuvenate and replenish. Whether we talk about it or not, these environmental issues affect us all, and until we collectively reduce our carbon footprint and wastes enough to sustain a healthy environment, these issue will remain relevant.
Nearing its 48th anniversary a week from today, Earth Day was officially born on April, 22, 1970. Led by Senator and Environmentalists Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was initiated as a teach-in about environmental concerns. By providing a centralized platform to propel the grassroots environmental movement and increase ecological awareness, “The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy,” Senator Nelson said, “and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda.”
From the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December of 1970, to expanding its reach to hundreds of countries internationally by 1990, to recent legislation which mandates the procurement of clean, renewable energy, reducing waste and recycling, this is not just a national agenda, but a global movement as well.
Even before Earth Day was established, Rachel Carson’s bestselling book, Silent Spring, published in 1962, helped catapult the environmental movement in the U.S. Carson’s highly acclaimed works paved the foundation for green living, and a world where humans are environmentally conscious. After all, as she profoundly said, “But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
Going back even further to the 1800’s, this movement we now call “Going green” was expressed by the Transcendentalists, and later flourished during the latter half of the 19th century. Going green is an ongoing aspiration fueled by some of our greatest human characteristics, compassion, responsibility, innovation, and ability to apply knowledge.
Going Green is the pursuit of knowledge and practices that drive us to develop a more harmonious and balanced relationship with the earth, by protecting the environment and sustaining natural resources for future generations. It’s our life and our legacy at once.
Going Green is about protecting the waters, from the abyssal depths of the sea, to the rolling waves that soothe our ears like music, provides a habitat for aquatic life, and is the liquid playground for swimming, surfing, fishing, snorkeling, or carrying our ships across the globe. It also preserves that calorie-free beverage that we can’t live without, and is a big part of our physical makeup.
Green means growth - it’s the beautiful trees and plants that give us clean air, store carbon gases, stabilize our soil, bear organic, nutritional fruits (at least before being sprayed with toxic pesticides or altered by GMOs), provide shelter for our homes, and material for things we use every day, including all that junk mail you’re bombarded with that you forgot to throw in the recycle bin. Trees are home to diverse wildlife and a playground for hiking, hunting, climbing, or even hanging a hammock.
We all love the look and feel of luscious, green grass, the cornerstone of parks and summer picnics, golf courses and a place for your dog Rover to roll around…or fertilize. : ) Green means being sustainable, reducing waste, and taking care of mother earth so she can keep taking care of us. I don’t think Going Green is dead at all – Green is LIFE.
But that’s just me. What do you think?
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