It Ain't Easy Being Green
Truth be told, the Green Movement irritates me. I’m all for conscientiousness, but we’re taught to look before we leap and from what I’ve experienced, that remains to generally unseen in this case. Maybe I should rephrase that. The Green Movement doesn’t irritate me, people irritate me. Although people could take a sensible approach, many don’t, and instead jump to one extreme or another when it comes to these issues without fully educating themselves.
From my senior year English teacher, Mr. Carey, I learned a few things, only one of which he intended to teach. First, that The Dubliners shoved down your throat is not fun reading. Second, that even if you make a point to write your boyfriend’s papers at a clearly inferior level, favoritism still wins out and he receives a better grade. And finally, his mantra, “show don’t tell,” which is how I’ll attempt to demonstrate my opinion.
I stand by my justification for the second lesson. That Ben procrastinated and produced awful writing. I could bang out a less awful paper in a fraction of the time that it took him to write 3 sentences so then we could go out. The teacher loved Ben, as he was the captain of the wrestling team and was walking-on at Purdue for that sport. I questioned opinions and judgment; Some teachers tend to dislike that.
That last paragraph demonstrates that I’m clearly not one to speak on ethics or people doing stupid things, but I will anyway. It’s my blog-post and I’ll write if I want to.
For the first example, I begin by citing a conversation that I had with my friend, Teresa, about a year ago.
T: I got those stupid mite things that are going around the suburbs.
Me: Eeps. Sorry Tee. How did that happen?
T: Well, my friend said that Oprah said that you shouldn’t use your dryer because it wastes energy so I started drying my sheets on a line outside.
Me: Really? That’s what your friend said that Oprah had to say about it but she doesn’t even….(cut off)
T: That’s it. I am DONE being green.
Me: (shaking my head in disbelief that this conversation happened)
Clearly, Teresa, bless her heart, had little to no actual education on “being green” or whatever and figured that if she merely dried her sheets outside because a friend told her that Oprah did a show about the topic, that took care of her part.
Most people don’t like to feel inconvenienced. Look in the “How to be an American” guidelines. Rule #3: You, as an American, are too important to feel inconvenienced, even if it is for a good reason. What people like Teresa don’t realize is that there are easy ways to change your life without inconvenience.
Then there’s the other side, the “green fanatic.” This is a person who turns their life upside down to be “green.” The time not spent being “green” is spent talking about how they’re “green” and how you should be “green,” too. This type of person usually changes their views on this and many other subjects only to extreme degrees. Said person also generally entertains the idea of single-handedly saving the world. Ask them, they’ll tell you just how it goes down and their integral part.
A close friend of mine told me that her roommate, let’s call her “Mary,” constantly sifted through the trash in her bedroom to find recyclable items. Mary was a fanatic about the environment for no reason other than it was her cause du jour. Mary used to hold off on putting out recyclables until the morning of Recycle Day in order to make sure that people who walked around the neighborhood looking for bottle and can deposits didn’t get to it first and it would be properly disposed of in a recycling truck, which she’d done no research on or knew where, exactly, it went. At one point, Mary held up a used tissue out of my friend’s room garbage, stating flatly that it could be recycled. My friend’s face filled with horror and claimed the tissue ineligible. Upon pressing, she (the friend) broke down and told Mary the reason. The tissue had cleaned up last night’s sexual activities with her boyfriend. Come to find out, Mary didn’t stop at roommates. During parties she sifted through garbage, picking out recyclables and then attempted to shame the party-thrower into acting in a more earth-friendly manner.
Thankfully, Mother Earth Mary never came into my home.
Back to the Ethics bit. While Teresa did try something, that one thing won’t make any difference. As she does make sure to recycle her cans and bottles, she could certainly use less bleach, not throw batteries away, and perhaps walk the one mile commute to work instead of driving her SUV. She shouldn’t be praised for her small efforts, but the mere idea that you would verbally assault someone for driving an SUV is repulsive human behavior. In contrast, Mary runs around preaching the environment and “being green” when she’s done little research on the subject. For the basis of personal ethics, neither is correct or incorrect. Ethics is, and always will be, subjective in most cases. However, on the basis of education, both fail miserably. Neither of them did their homework. Where I see the ethical issue is the lack of education on the topic. And for that, I blame the media.
Since I’m almost solely educated on the academic side of this issue, yet expressed interest in day to day living, a friend gave me a book on how to gradually manage your home in a more ecologically efficient manner.
I’ve already bought a used copy for Teresa. I’d feed Mary to the wolves of the Environmental Health department.
Just my point of view.