Sunday, March 2, 2008

So what exactly is "Going Green"?

It seems to me there is no clear definition as to what constitutes going green so I think it's time to define what it means to me. I should also point out that as with many things, my personal definition will probably change over time as I learn more and as my families circumstances change. For now however, I think the following about covers it.

For me, going green is more of a lifestyle or life habit change. It covers pretty much anything that improves our quality of life. This covers everything from using or doing things that result in less waste to send to the landfill to deciding not to buy things or paying for services that will result in needing to spend more time working to pay for those things.

It isn't a decision to strictly follow any particular path or guidance but instead to simply try and make better choices that will have less of a negative impact on us and the world around us.

One example is drinking water instead of soda and getting our water from the tap instead of buying it in bottles from the store. This has had a pretty positive impact on our health because we no longer drink acids, sugars, artificial sweeteners/flavors/colors and chemicals as our main source of hydration. We save on our health, money and an endless amount of cans/bottles that would need recycled by giving up something that was really nothing more then a 2 day craving and withdrawal process once given up. We lost nothing but gained a lot.

Another basic example is giving up handys, or cell phones. In my opinion, most people really don't need them. I'm sure many may disagree, but in our personal lives, we see no reason for anyone with our number to be able to reach us 24/7. Heck, these phones haven't even been around all that long and we act as if we can't live life without them. Besides I bet if you think about it, you typically screen/ignore a large portion of the calls that come in on them to begin with so why pay some company month in and month out for that privilege?

How many hours do you have to work each month for that privilege? 1-2-5- more? It may not seem like much, but if you sit down and think about all the little things that don't seem like much, you may find a significant portion of your time is spent working to pay for all the little things. Would you rather be home with friends and family, or at work so you can afford to ignore their call?

For me, going green is as simple as that. Just working towards a lifestyle that allows us to be together instead of at work so we can pay for the things that keep us apart. The funny thing is, contrary to popular opinion and all 800 million commercials on t.v., living a bit simpler is healthier, easier, more enjoyable and much less stressful since we do not have to worry as much about how we will pay for all the extras.

It has taken a long time to realize this and like many I missed my children's younger years working to pay for the extras. But slowly and as time goes by we are learning to make choices that really do improve our lives, instead of ones that distract us and lead to an endless spiral of living to work so we can pay yet more bills.

Believe me, we have the debt to prove we are learning the hard way, but in the end it is a lesson well worth learning.

Photography by Dora Pete

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