Monday, April 28, 2008

Green thoughts

I've been somewhat annoyed by this whole "going green" movement. I know that probably sounds old-fashioned and ignorant and unaware and so on, but I should explain why.

I'm not fond of ideas that spread themselves based on fear or panic. Save our world now or you won't be able to breathe in ten minutes!!! And I'm naturally skeptical of ideas that everyone latches on to. Save the world and buy this notebook made of completely recycled materials because everyone else is! Replace every light bulb in your house today with the more efficient ones that cost seven dollars each! I realize that good ideas tend to grow and become worldwide. But so do bad ideas, and so does fear. So I'm apt to be a little bit annoyed (see above) and skeptical (again, see above) when a new movement is born. I guess I'm an eighty-year-old at heart. But I take great joy in thinking and deciding for myself about all these newfangled ideas (newfangled...yes, I'm eighty), and I don't want to like something or believe in something simply because the majority of people like it or believe it. So when this whole green movement started, I decided to watch and wait, read and ponder, and ultimately decide what I think about it.

Here's what I think about it: I don't like the whole fear-based side of things, and I hate the commercialization of this green idea. All the TV stations just fell in love with having a green week, and one by one, they jumped on the bandwagon to get their names out there. That, I don't like. Not at all. Notice me because I'm going green TOO! Like EVERYONE ELSE! (Man, that eighty-year-old woman is cantankerous, isn't she?) But if I sort through all the money-making and name-dropping and hysteria, I like what's at the heart of it.

I like the idea of conservation. I like the idea of being gentle to the earth with which we've been entrusted. I LOVE the idea of being as efficient as possible and saving money. I love most of all the concept of using what you have to get what you need, and trying not to be excessive. I love the idea of repurposing, the idea of working in a garden, of having a house that isn't opulent and ridiculous in its expenses and outputs. I love the green movement--but only in its purest form. I'm not going to run out and replace all my lightbulbs today with more efficient ones, but I will do it one at a time, as our budget can handle it. Isn't that what it's really about anyway? Doing what you can, being smart and not going over the top? Taking your time to do it right and not being hasty and overspending?

Gentler change, more conducive to an eighty-year-old's way of thinking....?


Pam (Haslem) Dana said...

I loved this post, because I feel the same way! I have felt like it is go "all green" or "none." I am with you - I want to do my part, but slowly make the transition and not stress myself over it. Loved this post!

Lara said...

The Green movement bugs me too for many of the same reasons.

I saw a scientist talking and he said that we actually have plenty of natural resources, and we need to use them or they won't replenish or something like that (I am not a scientist and do not always understand). Anyway, basically, he just debunked the whole global warming thing.

I do think parts of the movement are good. Like to save money on energy and to not be so excessive. But mostly I think it's a huge commercialized money making crock. :) Maybe I'm eighty years old too.

Cara jean said...

We need to exchange emails. Posting comments is goofy.

About my "green thumb", I don't really know what I do. Dumb luck I think.

The Graham Family said...

I agree with you but I do buy a lot of the cleaning products that are "green" because the chemicals(or lack of) are less harsh or they are totally natural, that I like for my childrens sake. I also think recycling is great and the "use less waste less" idea but that comes down to me saving more money, I like that.

Marie and Will said...

Awesome post! I'm so with you here. I feel like certain people (Al Gore) have used the whole global warming thing soley for financial gain, and a large part of their success is attributed to instilling fear in people. I don't buy into a lot of what and how the media portrays and defines going green. It seems like such a fad, but you're right. The heart of the idea is good.

Andrea said...

Very enjoyable post. I have also noticed a big green movement lately. You'd think that there should be a way to make things that are better for the environment be priced better (ie your light bulb example). Of course, they're supposed to last longer and overall save money, but money is a big deal now. Also seems like small cities should make a move on recycling and stuff before it becomes a problem, instead of waiting until it's a problem.

Heidi said...

I about fell over laughing when we got this enormous, full color & multi-page circular in our mail from Walmart - it was all about their new "green" products. Hmm, are we seeing the irony there?

I love the idea of being good stewards of our resources, and I agree that we need to make those choices thoughtfulyl and not because of marketing campaigns or trendiness. Like food storage - we're told we need to do it, we need to make it a priority, but we also need to be wise about it and not go into debt to acquire it. Small steps in the right direction are better than wild leaps that aren't well thought out, right? :)