It has been a hard fight over the years. At first people just laughed and questioned why anybody would even care. The Earth is big, plentiful and could take of itself. What could we possibly do to make a difference one way or another? Well, I think most people would agree that we can affect the planet one way or another. But because changes are so small and are often hard to quantify, it is difficult to get many of us to admit that there is a problem unless the threat of imminent danger is present. We are all busy with our everyday lives and it can be difficult to get involved, hard to find the motivation, and it often falls on somebody else shoulders to make an impact. We’ve all made our excuses, but there is a silver lining on this storm cloud. People are changing.
Sure, there are always going to be people on the fringes, and sure there are tactics used on both sides that should be avoided and are wrong, but if everybody sat back and thought about it for a minute instead of being so ideological, we could find common ground that really makes a difference. And while there is a long way to go in the green movement, the progress already made is measurable.
My kids recycle; look for ways to save water and are generally concerned about the well being of the planet. They question some of the choices we as parents make and are not afraid to remind us that it takes everybody to make a real difference. In fact, last weekend as we were driving to the store we witnessed a woman throw her trash on the ground, apparently without any thought of her actions. My boys wanted to turn into the parking lot and ask her why she would do that, why it was okay to just throw a plastic wrapper on the ground. We didn’t chase her down, but they did make me drive over and pick it up and throw it away. Hey, every little bit helps.
We see new technologies all the time, from energy saving light bulbs and higher mileage or electric cars, to insulation that is environmentally friendly and sustainable building product. Sure, most large companies need prodding and government regulations to get started, but the point is that once they start, they realize it makes good business sense. There are green certified business and green certified buildings and homes. There are programs in place to help make sustain the forests and food sources. Is it perfect, no of course not, but progress is happening and you can see it everywhere.
Soon, instead of getting rebates and tax breaks, these things are going to get done because it makes sense for the planet, but makes business sense. I guess the point of all of this is that eventually, we won’t even have to label this and that as green. You won’t have to look for it, you will just expect it. It will be Green because that is what is best for the planet and that is what is best for us. It just won’t be called Green anymore, it will just be what responsible citizens do.
Jay Preston is blogger at ToolHQ, Australia’s leading online power tool supplier.