What Does it Mean to Go Green?
The debate over Going Green is one that incites some strong emotions from both sides. That much was apparent in a comment thread over one of today's featured blogs on AR: Why Green makes Me see RED! by Holly Lynch. I knew there were some differing opinions out there but the comment thread in that post opened my eyes to the cause of the major divide. I'm hopeful that through conversations, like the one that ensued after that post, we can build a bridge to better understand both sides and move forward in a positive and productive way.
What do you see in this picture?
Do you see thousands of dollars in timber value? Do these trees represent the potential for future profits and productivity to you? Do you see the future use of these trees as lumber to build our homes or paper for books to be printed on?
Do you see a complex ecosystem in which the tree plays a very crucial role of trading carbon dioxide for oxygen? Do you see a plant which recycles the water from the ground, releasing it back into the air through its leaves and ultimately providing rain to nourish our crops?
Big Picture or Right Now? Can't Have One Without the Other
I'm not here to say that one side is right and one side is wrong. It just seems that our whole argument about whether or not 'going green' is a legitimate pursuit is based around this small difference in perspective. Are you looking at the here and now or are you looking at the big picture?
If you want to make your home more energy efficient just to lower your heating bill, thats great. You are taking action for a cause that is important to you. If you want to make your home totally green to reduce the impact on the air, waterways, and web of life around you, thats great too. We're all working toward the same goal, just with different perspectives on the impact we have. When Going Green becomes a problem is when you use the guise of conscious living to fenagle money out of honest, well-intentioned people.
We may finally be able to make some progress together when we realize that the 2 perspectives are very interrelated. You can't get to the big picture by ignoring the here and now, and the here and now has little meaning without considering the big picture.
Going Green Gone Wild
To me, the label of going green or green living may be misleading and could even be the cause of some of the arguments. The true cause we are all fighting for is conscious living. Being aware of the impact your actions have on the people and environment around you. Stepping out of the shadows of anonymity and taking responsibility for your presence in this world. Whether that means acknowledging that you need to take measures to reduce your heating bill so you can better provide financially for your family, or understanding that the bags and bags of garbage you throw out every year don't cease to exist just because they are no longer on "your property".
We all need to step up and realize that this earth we call home is "our property". We own it. It is our estate. And like all good investments, the return won't be seen overnight. But you can be certain that future generations will be grateful for the security of a healthy inheritance.