The ‘Green Thing’ Part 2

In Blog by ezeto0 Comments

In the last post, I had mentioned how best intentions are often just that – intentions.  The story of the older lady at the grocery store does provide a very intriguing illustration of where society is today.  In the ‘old days’ so to speak, society and especially Western society was enjoying an unprecedented golden age of growth and prosperity.  There was a lot of ‘new’ and the focus was on enjoying all of it.  Imagine if you had never tasted candy or ice cream before – you’re going to ingest a fair amount before you stop to consider that it might not be so good for you.  So in some ways, I’ll stop short of calling it a time of ignorance, but rather a time of naivety instead.  This can be excused…

Interestingly, ignorance or rather ‘lack of information’ shall we say, is no longer available in the old quiver of excuses.  We are inundated daily with green policy, green products, green services, green – well a lot of green anyways.  In this day of the internet and Google, lack of information is not an option.  To disagree with one fine frog if there ever was one – it has never been easier being green…

So here we are back at ‘intentions’.  We intend to do the right thing, but the deeper reasoning behind these actions often escapes us.  It’s the New Year and we are all enjoying the holidays just past.  There is nothing
better than the holiday season to really illustrate where we are with being ‘green’.  This past year we switched at our household to LED outdoor lighting.  LED’s are fantastic examples of human ingenuity and is the future of lighting in all areas – old fashioned, energy wasting incandescent lighting is dead.  But this year we decided to light the trees on our lawn something we have never done previously – and let me tell you that it takes a lot of lighting to wrap lights around even a modest sized tree.  Three 25’ strands results in a very pathetic looking
tree.  We realize next year, we’re going to need at least 6 – 7 strands per tree time’s three trees!  Our town also switched over to LED lighting this year.  Of course rather than a few strands of incandescent lights per tree, the town saw fit to do full wraps on every tree this year and to also wrap the lamp posts to boot.  It’s quite the spectacle, but I think a lot of neighborhoods nowadays would give the Vegas strip a run for their money
during the holidays.

Another great irony I find happens on December 26th – the day after Christmas.  It’s the day after presents have been opened, the kids have already lost interest in half the toys they received and everyone is fat in Turkey or Ham or in our case a delicious beef tenderloin roast.  This past Christmas happened on a Tuesday and trash day is Thursday so throughout the neighborhood, trash bins lined the driveways on the 26th.  Now, we live in a fairly nice neighborhood – a lot of young educated professionals. We had our usual double recycling bins out on the curb and truthfully we could have used 2 more.  But much to our chagrin, all around us what did we see?
Trash bins filled with paper, boxes, plastic….  I think irony is exemplified when you see a house with three cardboard 47” television boxes each labeled with ‘ENERGYSTAR’ sandwiched between two waste bins…

So, I’m not standing here on a high horse attempting to denigrate our neighbors for their lack of environmental conscientiousness.  It boils down to intentions – unfortunately much of what we consider green today sometimes seems more of a way to placate our conscience for our consumption habits.  If you look at the statistics that are presented on the ‘seveneight’ program page, it puts into perspective the task at hand. We can barely get the decidedly middle class members of our neighborhood to recycle but they represent only a small portion of the makeup of this country.  Imagine if they don’t care enough, then what can we expect of the single mom who is barely able to put food on the table for herself and two kids? Being green – this whole ‘green thing’ – has an almost cliché tone to it now.  Rather than the top-down approach our society tends to take, we need to switch to bottom-up.  Ultimately for more than just the environment, but rather almost every other issue, we as a society need to take on internal responsibility to affect change. How can we accomplish this – hey I’m open to ideas!  Stay tuned and Happy New Year!

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