Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Many Shades of Green

In these days of global warming, ozone holes (yes, it's still there) and carbon footprints, there are myriad shades of green.

We have the Weld Angel, those who chain themselves to bulldozers, and set up road blocks.  The Wilderness Society. Tree farmers, and forestry concerns.  National Parks, and those who care for them.  The everyday Joe or Jane, who hears all the fear-mongering, and wonders what they can do, and will it even work.

Probably my least favourite shade of green though, is the one that I see more and more of every day.  The Hypocritically Green.

They sprout on about buying Green Miles, or Green Power, or how they have installed a rainwater tank, while driving a monstrous guzzling off-road vehicle that will never see anything even remotely like rough terrain, unless they hit a major patch of roadworks.  If you dare to leave a light on when you walk out of the room, they lecture you endlessly for not being green-councious, and then drive their Monster 5 minutes up the road, to buy the bread and milk.

Big industry and government are just as bad, if not worse.  Big Company puts in place a 'green' methodology, to reduce their impact by, oh say 2% over 20 years, and gets kudos from the government of the day for their 'green-ness'.  Never mind that they have been killing the planet for 50 years, and that 2% reductin isn't due to start for another 10.  And we are expected to applaud their environmentally friendly ways, and follow suit.

I am 'green' in some ways.  I recycle, have for years.  We have planted trees in our garden, mainly natives.  We water irregulary, and only the new plants.  Our household has been using energy-saving lightbulbs for years.  Same with rechargeable batteries for remotes.  I wash only in cold water, and do dishes by hand.  We have 1 car, a 4 cylinder job.  I walk most places, or take public transport.  Rather than running heaters, we wrap up warm, and in the summer, run a normal fan.  We do not have central heating/air.  I use bio-friendly cleaning products, homemade where I can.

Yes, every 2 years or so we take a long trip, on a big plane.  Not very eco-friendly.  But really, are we doing any more harm to the globe than the big companies who dump toxins in the rivers, and atmosphere?  There is a former industrial site I go past on my way to Uni, used to be a paint plant.  It is 20 years since it closed down, and there are still another 5 years before it can be considered 'safe' for use.  How many toxins are lying on that site?  How many more are there lurking in other industrial areas?

Let's stop jumping all over the little people, who are doing all they can on a daily basis.  Let's stop abusing the men and women who are simply trying to feed their families.  Instead, let us all focus on big industry, and complacent government, who are blithely destroying our planet, while lecturing us on how to be green.

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