In recognition of the month of February as ‘national plant seeds of greatness month’, nation-wide during ‘green week’ we are challenged to ‘green’ our communities; but, what does the term green mean?
From a political viewpoint, ‘green’ advocates activities that support or promote environmental protection; and from a product or service viewpoint, “made/provided with little environmental harm”: goods or services produced in an environmentally and ecologically friendly way, e.g. by using renewable resources. But do we truly understand these definitions or are we simply experiencing ‘green washing’, smoke and mirrors advertisement?
Regionally, I barely pick up a newspaper, magazine or other form of media without seeing the word, green. I’m challenged by local TV and radio stations to ‘go green’; and in other forms of media, see ‘green’ advertisement range from food to cosmetics, landscape to building, clothing to home furnishings and even enticed to host ‘green’ weddings. Still, when I visit other areas, I’ve noticed a difference – the lack of a use of the word, green. So, what is the difference?
“Sustainability,” says my eco colleague Ed Snodgrass of Knoll Farms, located in Street Maryland, “a form of ‘going green’ which means we don't take more out of the Earth than we are able to put back.” Recognized nationally as a ‘Green Roof Man of the Year’, Snodgrass applies his philosophy, ‘don’t take more out of the Earth than we able to put back’, to all facets of his life. Dissimilar to Snodgrass, the average U.S.A citizen has a total ecological footprint of about 25 acres, meaning if everyone consumed similar to the average American, it would require several additional Earths to support their lifestyles.
While it can be difficult to measure individual lifestyle choices, there are eco-footprint tools which determine individual impact. And, more importantly, using such a tool not only identifies individual status but where and how you presently fall short related to 'green’ lifestyle choices. For, an essential element of a ‘green’ product or service is not simply the product, itself, but the units of energy used to produce as well as transport (access) it.
So, as you seek to ‘plant seeds of greatness’ - apply the definition of ‘green’ to lifestyle choices, make your goal to avoid the experience of ‘green washed’ products or services. Why? As people who ‘dig in the dirt’, we can make a difference – influence the eco health of our urban suburban communities. For additional tips and strategies, visit web site TheWrightScoop.