The New Green

There are so many discussions these days by people, organizations, businesses, and communities about what it means to be “green.”

The struggle lies in creating workable definitions that create sensible approaches that aren’t crippling financially, that don’t waste extreme amounts of time , and that don’t label the person or entity as extreme ( aka unbalanced). The corporate definition seem to take  an asset focus:   better management of plant and property, waste, and natural resources that ultimately do less harm to the earth. The  consumerist approach  is to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” – minimize the use use of stuff by reducing and redeploying waste,  eliminate toxic inputs to ourselves, our property,  or the environment, or doing community service that promotes a “green cause” (like eliminating mountain top removal).  So it goes for most entities and people.

Alongside the growth of the green movement there has been an amping up of extremist representations by the media. Liberal and conservative media take turns in “reporting” the outlandish behavior and positions of their opponents on health care, global warming, government spending, etc.  This pattern of polemic positioning by the media is a daily occurrence – in this over-informed, over-served world we can’t avoid the bludgeoning that we receive every time we turn on the TV or radio, we log on to the internet, or we drive down the street looking at billboards. The media has lost all respect for the public it supposedly serves and civility is nowhere to be seen. The language is profane, the insults are character destroying,  and outlandish rules the day. And we, the public, seem to suck it up and just say or think, “thats the way it is”.

So what does “green” have to with this media trend? Just this  – we have an opportunity to redefine “green” in the face of the these uncivil times.  There used to be an understanding in our democratic society that despite differences of opinion, we could keep our disagreements within the ropes of common decency.  And we, as citizens, worked for the common good  by employing sacrifice, compromise, civility, and moderation of behavior. In a word, consideration. An old expression,  “be considerate of others” seems to hit the point. So then, I submit, the new definition of green, in this me first, you are always wrong and I am always right world is simple: be considerate of others.