Does “going green” mean you have to stop showering, stop shaving, sell your car, read by candlelight and chain yourself to a tree to protest logging in the Northwest?
While that is the definition that some would have you believe it’s hardly the case. However, coming up with a clear consistent definition turned out to be a little harder than I thought. The blow by blow of my journey is documented below.
First Stop: Wikipedia
One of the first places I usually go when I want to learn about a new topic or define a concept is Wikipedia. So I quickly jumped over to Wikipedia and searched for “going green”.
Turns out Wikipedia actually does not even have a page or definition for going green. They simply redirect you to a page on “Environmentalism” . So now going green has become an “ism”… interesting, as “ism”‘s are usually a bad thing.
According to Wikipedia,
“Environmentalism is a broad philosophy and social movement centered on a concern for the conservation and improvement of the environment. Environmentalism is associated with the color green.”
I felt that this was close, but left me wanting a more human definition.
Second Stop: Google
When in doubt I always go to Google (the all knowing Oracle of our time). So I searched for “going green definition”. I just love that Google knows what I am looking for and if you search for something with the word “definition” in it they give you a list of definitions from all over the web.
Clicking on the “Web definitions for Going Green”, Google provided six different options, including the “environmentalism” definition from Wikipedia.
The one that jumped out at me as being the closest to what I think of as “Going Green” was from the website www.lohas.com/glossary.html.
“A phrase referring to individual action that a person can consciously take to curb harmful effects on the environment through consumer habits, behavior, and lifestyle.”
Now that is a definition we can use! It focuses on individual choices that we can all make together to lessen the harmful effects on the earth. But it does NOT mean you have to turn your life upside down, sell all your possessions and move your family into a yurt (Word of the day challenge.. Yurt).
The way I read this definition and the way our family has chosen to implement the notion of “going green”, is to make small changes over time to improve our lives as well as the earth as a whole (no yurt livin’ for us thank you very much).
Lets be honest here, if you try and change everything in your life all at once.. you will end up quitting. It’s much better to make one small change at a time and let it become a habit. To help you develop these new habits, we will be posting many easy tips and tricks to do just this in future articles.
So what do you think about this going green definition? Do you have a better one? Think I am full of bologna? Let me know in the comments below.