‘Green’ talk has me green in the face

All this talk about going “green” is making me nauseated. Where did this madness begin? Hollywood? New York? Elsewhere? The “green” revolution has morphed into a fashion statement of sorts, a sickening attempt at finally giving a damn about the planet we call home.
Suddenly everybody seems concerned about the environment. We’ve become a tribe of eco-warriors bent on saving the Earth. “Green” talk dominates sales pitches, casual conversations, product purchases, development schemes and political chatter. If it’s labeled “green,” then it must be so. And while this is all a plus for Mother Earth, we have created a thin veil of disguise. We’re certainly not doing all we can on the environmentalist front. It’s all talk, for the most part; yet another proverbial pat on the back in the hopes we’ll feel better about our lifestyles.
What’s the definition of “green” anyway? The term is so loosely thrown around, there is no one way to accurately describe the phenomenon. I liken it to the “all-natural” movement, in which anything labeled as such is somehow natural. Which begs the question: What is natural? It can be argued anything is natural and any lifestyle is “green.”
What can I offer as proof?
Businesses are exploiting the “green” concept. Consider a bottle of wine I looked at last night. The winemakers labeled it “green,” and I was left wondering how so. The bottle was trucked in all the way from Maine. The grapes chugged water throughout the growing season. Glass isn’t exactly the most biodegradable bottling choice. So, calling your winemaking operation “green” is, in a sense, fraud. Perhaps the vineyard operates off the grid, which is respectable. But that doesn’t diminish the environmental damage, however diminutive, one bottle of wine has on the planet.
People are even convinced there is such a thing as environmentally friendly building projects going on around town. I can assure you Earth is not content with any type of building, be it residential or commercial. So what if developers utilize solar panels, no-flush toilets and energy-efficient windows throughout. Hey, if some “green” commission gave the project two thumbs up, then it must be the real deal, correct?
It’s a step in the right direction, but we’re too far gone.
Another harsh blow to the “green” campaign: wind power isn’t exactly agreeable with bird populations. According to the recently released State of the Birds report, “between 10,000 and 40,000 birds may be killed each year at wind farms across the country, about 80 percent of which are songbirds, and 10 percent may be birds of prey.”
Hard to swallow, is it not? We can’t have something for nothing, especially in regard to our energy and consumption demands.
I’m convinced the modern man is incapable of living a truly “green” lifestyle. The convenience of technology has put us nowhere near “green.” Sure, we recycle all we can. We take shorter showers. We walk, rather than drive. But the concept doesn’t seem to match reality. Take a look around. The interstates are still jammed. Trash fills the landfill because single-family homes put six or seven full garbage cans out for pick-up. Water gushes from broken sprinkler lines. You can’t even paddle out after it rains anymore.
I’m just as guilty as the next guy. I drive when it’s not necessary. I pitch reusable cups because cleaning them would be a nuisance. I recycle glass believing it makes a difference (the energy required to recycle glass outweighs the benefit, some might argue). And who could blame me? I’m a creature of the modern world, and it’s downright frustrating at times.
The “green” revolution is an illusion. The world of convenience breeds a culture of waste. The last time our human race excelled at going “green” was during the hunter and gatherer model, a lifestyle that produced only biodegradable waste and burned no fossil fuel.
All we can do at this point is live peacefully and reconsider our every move. Buy local. Garden more. Drive less. It shall become a worldwide, concerted human effort if we are to survive.

Share

Filed Under: News

RSSComments (2)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Bryan M. says:

    Green, the color of money…with every new “revolution” a new breed of capitalist is born. Capitalism promotes free thinkers and introduces new ideas. Consumers will ultimately weed out the companies exploiting green, thus forcing them to innovate or go out of business. Green…I love the color.

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.