I sometimes find it amusing that everyone who is talking about “Going Green” seems to think they discovered the idea. (It’s not a new invention, y’all!) Every generation seems to eventually stumble upon the same concept, although we call it by different names.
Back in my hippie-days (Yes, I am ancient!), it was called the “Getting Back to Nature Movement.” All people remember about it now is tie-dyed shirts and unshaved legs, but there was more to it than that! There was PEACE and LOVE —and HARMONY too, Man!
But, being “Groovy” didn’t last long. The reality of making a Utopia work is difficult. For everyone who is willing to give it their all, there is someone else waiting for it all to be given to them. This is a fact, but we can’t let that stop us from doing what we know is right.
It wasn’t but a couple of generations ago that everyone was “greener”. It was a necessity. They were still waiting for the inventions!
When my Grandmother hung her wash out on the clothesline, she didn’t give a thought to the energy savings of solar power. That was just the way it was done. And when she dumped that same wash water over her garden, she wasn’t thinking of water conservation either. She was thinking of conserving her BACK from having to haul water! There were no garden hoses, just watering cans. To get the water, you didn’t just turn a spigot either; you had to pump a handle.
If you look further back – to her mother – I’m sure you find things “greener” still. However, I’m not one for living in the past. Life was hard back then! I’m all for flush toilets, running water and electricity. It’s because we want future generations to have these things too, that we need to conserve our resources now.
Some of us are trying, but with varying degrees of success. We recycle our newspapers, but we buy bottled water. We holler when gas prices go up, but we don’t carpool. We don’t litter, but we fertilize our lawn with chemicals. We do a whole lot of things we shouldn’t, and just a few that we should.
Each of us could do a lot more, and we all know it. But, there is always that nagging thought, “Why should I, when everyone else isn’t?” For many, the whole “Go Green” concept just seems like extra work, rather than the great idea that it is.
Any new endeavor is difficult at first. If we start slowly by incorporating some of those energy-saving ideas from the past, and adapting others to fit with our modern technology, we can simplify our lives.
For goodness sake, anybody can start by just taking a canvas bag to the supermarket.
Put up a clothesline, plant a garden, cook a meal at home, learn to knit, build a birdhouse – you don’t have to go to the mall for entertainment. Turn off the TV and read a book. We don’t need to buy more stuff. We need to cut back on what we want.
When you get to the point where all you really want is what you really need, then you will have succeeded. I’m still working on it and you can too.
Dawn light: dancing with cranes and other ways to start the day
by Ackerman, Diane
Poisoned profits: the toxic assault on our children by Shabecoff, Phillip
Down to earth: nature’s role in American history by Steinberg, Theodore
Giaia’s revenge: climate change and humanity’s loss by Liotta, P.H.
Garden’s of revelation: environments by visionary artists by Beardsley, John
A Vision of Nature: traces of the original world by Tobias, Michael