green… what does the word mean? money. envious. nauseated. eco-friendly… it means a lot of things, but right now, in today’s environment and with a passion for Mother Earth flowing through my veins, green means the color of my future. It represents my quality of life for the next 60-some years I’ll be living on this planet, as well as for those who will follow me. But it doesn’t mean anything without people taking action. And when I say this, I’m not excluding myself or saying that I’ve been doing all I can—because I haven’t. Sure, I snap at my sister for using two-too-many paper towels. Yes, I called out my last roommate about her TP addiction. I’ve pitched a fit when my friend threw a clean Styrofoam cup in the trash just to get me riled up (obviously it worked). And I even offered my womanpower to physically collect and recycle the pounds and pounds of paper my former place of employment produced ever day.
But it isn’t enough. And when I think of all the people out there not doing enough—or, gasp, not doing anything—it makes me the other sort of green: sick!
What’s also unfortunate is that environmental consciousness has come in a wave. Yes, it’s great people are jumping onboard the eco band wagon, but it’s too bad that it has taken catastrophic natural disasters to get us to take a look at what we’re doing. It’s too bad that it took hundreds of thousands of dollars in the form of Al Gore’s movie to get us to reflect on the consequences of our lifestyles. And it’s also too bad that many businesses are turning green initiatives into money-making schemes.
So what do I propose you ask? While the little things don’t seem like much, in a mass effort, they’re a great start. I didn’t mean to discount the few things I do on a daily basis. They are something—and a little something that’s done on a greater scale can turn into a big something. Obviously it’s going to take groups with money, manpower, technology and more to make a huge dent. But in the meantime, while those groups are getting their acts (and money) together, do your little something whenever you can… Bike to work. Print on both sides of paper. Recycle. Shop organic. Carpool. Support sustainable businesses. Use green products. Turn off your lights. Pick up trash. Spread the word.