J500 Media and the Environment

Conscious effort needed to be green by jenniferedw
June 25, 2009, 6:25 pm
Filed under: J840 Week 2, Waste + Recycling | Tags: , , ,

While many people want to consider themselves green, after attending last weekend’s class and reviewing this week’s readings, I think it’s extremely difficult to define exactly what that means. In addition, being completely green in today’s world is very difficult and requires a concentrated effort.

A screen shot of the simplesteps.org link where visitors can sign a petition to make pet products safer.

A screen shot of the simplesteps.org link where visitors can sign a petition to make pet products safer.

I think someone who has the intent to make a conscious effort to help the environment, and takes action to built on that intent, can be considered green. Several readings and video/audio from this week mentioned that the environment is such a big issue that is seems overwhelming for people to try and fix. A google.com search of “green” produced more than 812 million results, and many of those sites contain information and tips for living a more environmentally-friendly life. While it’s great to have some much information at your fingertips, this can be overwhelming, as we discussed last week in class.

Another complication is media reports make it seem that if individuals or families don’t make huge life changes, they’re not really making an impact — for example, the man that appeared on The Colbert Report clip we viewed. That could turn people off and make them think there’s no point in even bothering. However, if individuals can do some simple things that work for their family — switching to all-natural cleaning products, changing light bulbs, using less plastic, etc., they will be making an impact. Even if it’s a small impact, they’re still taking some sort of action.

I really liked the simple, incremental steps presented on the Simple Steps site (which I accessed through the link in our reading from The New York Times). I signed up for their daily e-mail tips, so I’m interested to see how they’re presented in the coming days. I also liked the way this site was organized and the ease with which I could sign a petition about chemicals in pet products (I signed up right away).

Overall, I think that someone who has made a concerted effort on environmental issues can consider themselves green — as long as they recognize that they have to continue taking action and being aware in order to do so.

-Jennifer E.

2 Comments so far
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It’s true. The amount of information out there boggles the mind. When do we have time to sift through it and decide what’s really valuable? Or really green? The “concentrated effort” you mention takes a lot of energy.

The Simple Steps site appealed to you because of its organization and ease. Do you think simplicity is the key to successful “green” messaging?

Cheri L.

Comment by CheriL

I do think that one key to successful green messaging is simplicity. With so many messages out there about not only the environment but all the other issues facing us right now — health care, jobs, economy, etc. — it’s vital that people be given simple tips to make a difference. I also like the Simple Steps approach because they e-mail the tips directly out to people (as I’m sure many sites do) rather than having to make an effort to go out to the site and search for them. This type of easy access is important, too.

Comment by jenniferedw

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