Are you “green” yet?

Editorial Opinion

Your local supermarket has gone green and wants to know if you have yet. So do the celebrities that can’t stop doing voiceover for Discover Channel specials about global warming.

The fuel manufacturers want to know too. Are you buying into the movement?   

Are you going to jump on the bandwagon too?

I was “green” before it became a trend, and before it subsequently became an exclusive club that you can buy a Prius to gain admission to.

Growing up I was always environmentally aware. It’s almost something indoctrinated from birth with in my native California. The impact of a population of about two million people in my hometown of Oakland magnified the effects of pollution in a tangible way.

The night sky takes on an eerie red cast from the ever present smog, and light pollution has wiped away the evidence of stars.

As a teenager we began experiencing power shortages in the summer. Power grids were overtaxed from the exertion of powering millions of Californians. It was the beginning of rolling blackouts, a practice of intentionally engineered power outages caused by insufficient resources to meet high demands. On the hottest of summer days we would be without power for hours at a time.

It was terrifying to confront our own society’s mass over consumption.   

Having never lived outside of California, I imagined the rest of the country in the same predicament as us.

It was easy to buy into even the most sensational of doomsday predictions.

I always felt an urgency to change the world, which is admittedly a lofty ambition. But I like to believe that the basis for all great change is the acceptance of one’s personal responsibility in the matter.

I was excited for the advent of the green movement. I thought that it denoted a shift in the perspective of the greater whole. Finally, we were having open discussions about what we intended to do to fix the problems we were creating.

Then came the mass market onslaught of green living accessories.  

Suddenly, being green became less about changing our ways, but seeking the external quick fix. We are going to buy ourselves a new environment with new cars and organic snack food. Being green is becoming just another trend, a fad that people will shed with the next season’s clothing. Even the movement’s coined title is annoyingly cheesy.

We are never going to make a difference until we accept the fact that it may require personal sacrifice. The necessities of the modern American life exceed that of many other cultures. We are a culture of excess.

It will open your mind and broaden your horizons.

Education is so much more powerful than ignorance.

Educate yourself socially. 

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