Filed under: Energy + Climate, J840 Week 2, Nature + Travel, Society + Media, Waste + Recycling | Tags: environmentalism, going green, Rachel Carson, Slient Spring
As the term “Going Green” is thrown around, I find it increasingly difficult to seperate the environmentalist moniker from the color itself. With this in mind, I always think of the other ways that we label individuals with color and how these labels are all too often negative.
As children, we ask “What’s wrong? Are you yellow?” to coerce the neighborhood scaredy-cat into something everyone knows is dangerous. Later, we ask “Why so blue?” to a downtrodden friend. Even as adults, we gossip about our family’s “black sheep” after he loses his shirt on a wild night in Vegas and moves back in with mom.
Considering the other uses of color as a label, it is not at all surprising to hear Stephen Colbert mockingly use the term “Reduce, Reuse, Re-Psychos” to refer to individuals that I would consider “green.” When the color green is already being used to describe the envious and inexperienced, it only follows that going green would be seen as over-the-top, radical environmentalism.
However, I think the green movement is slowly breaking the green mold. If the views of Silent Spring author, Rachel Carson, can go from being seen as hysterical to revolutionary, I think it is only a matter of time before people who insist that guests in there home recycle the bottled water they just finished go from being “green nuts” to just positively “green.” The term greem in an environmental sense just means doing the right thing.
Whether Carson was correct or not in her assertion that nature is central to the survival of man rather than the inverse, I believe human beings should (whether out of gratitude or responsibility to nature) take the necessary steps to ensure its long-run survival. This to me is the essence of being green. Everything we do, no matter how slight, should be done in a way that keeps our surroundings intact.
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