It's so Hip to be Green: What will the next trend be?
It absolutely blows my mind how cool it is to be green these days. Was it Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth? Or could it be the rising fuel costs? I mean didn't you know that Cameron Diaz has "gone green". Or maybe the time has just really come and people are really starting to wake up all at the same time? Oooh that's deep! Do all these steps we take to walk lighter on the Earth actually matter?I must say that it all kind of makes me chuckle. Not like a clown ha-ha chuckle, but more under my breath with some sort of sense of relief. The entire country is being swept with the green wave and its everywhere you look. Everywhere! From organic dry cleaners to hand cranked flashlights and organic dog food to recycled paper counter tops everything has a more eco-friendly alternative. Every gigantic corporation has jumped on board as well and now have their own greening specialists that work internally to clean up the company's act or at least pretend to. It's crazy to see the most destructive companies out there with whole campaigns about all the great things they are doing around the world to make up for all the harm they have done.
I guess it's also a time to feel a sense of accomplishment for all the people who have dedicated their lives long before it was so cool to be ecologically conscious. The seeds to all of the great environmental and social justice movements were planted long, long ago so let's just take a minute to honor all the great men and women over the past several thousands of years who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much so that we could be here right now reading blogs about it on our laptops at work.
I'll never forget a few years back at the Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, CA, the author Paul Hawken gave a speech that really put into scope just how many people right this very minute are working overtime, all of the time, to help improve the world. As his talk began, behind him was a screen with the names of different social and environmental organizations from around the world that are working on some aspect of this grand change. They began extremely slowly, and as he continued to speak they were speeding up little by little. Until about a half-hour into his talk they were going so fast that they looked like just a solid while line across the screen. Then he proceeded to say that if he had left them moving at the original speed, that they would not have finished scrolling for over two weeks. It would go from The Environmental Council of Zambia to The Alaskan Forest Association to the Childrens Eternal Rainforest to The Russian Environmental Coalition and these were all just the groups that were registered.
It really gave me a sense of hope and reminded me how many people are dreaming a very similar dream and working hard towards a very similar goal. Sometimes as the Hummerzine (that's a Hummer limo, in case you have never seen one) pulls up next to you at the light and you feel there is no way we're going to get things going in the right direction for this beautiful planet we call Earth, just think of the many millions of people working full time at it right NOW!
A few weeks ago I went to visit my girlfriend's family outside Rochester, NY and down the street from her house was a very old-fashioned, typical farm stand. They had snap peas, zucchinis, cut flowers and more with great hand written signs. The thing that really struck me about this farm stand was that no one was working there. It had a metal box with a slit and was all on the honor system. It was just another glimpse of deep hope that a fair and just world could be possible.
I'm off to super unsustainable Burning Man to hopefully find some more hope and I look forward to reporting about my findings.