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Published on June 18th, 2008 | by Zachary Shahan

13

Green is In, but What is Green? “Green” Lifestyles and Green Living

In preparing for this new job, writing for GO Media’s Sustainablog and Planetsave blog, I was picking up green magazines, green newspaper articles, advertisements for green books and goods, and thinking (even more than normal) about green living, green lifestyles, and how we are going to find ourselves out of the mess we have put ourselves in.

It is a complicated situation we’ve put ourselves in. Beyond the water quality and air quality problems we’ve had for more than a century, we are now facing global climate change, there is concern about ‘peak oil’ and all of the ramifications related to that issue (including drilling for oil in ecological world treasures), and there are increasing concerns about the sustainability of our global food systems and how we are going to feed our future generations. Cities and stores are just now starting to ban plastic bags, realizing after a few decades that a product that will not disappear for thousands of years should not be reproduced.

We are facing very complicated issues that are a result of the very unnatural and complicated things and systems we have created in recent times.

How do we address these problems and concerns?

As Albert Einstein said a few years ago,

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

We keep wanting to find the next technological breakthrough that is going to bring us out of this mess. We keep wanting to buy the next green product that allows us to live the same lifestyle while feeling that we are saving the earth (our future generations and fellow creatures really, since the earth will survive). We keep wanting to look out for the solutions to these problems that were created by looking out in the first place and not being satisfied with the way things were.

We rush around everywhere, live busy lives, and “have to” drive or eat pre-packaged foods to support our lifestyle.

We feel like it’s alright to drive since we have a hybrid, but we emit more greenhouse gases because we drive more than we would in a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. (Check out the top 17 reasons why the bicycle is the most popular vehicle in the world today.)

We want to live our complicated, modern-day lives and think that it is possible to do this and save the world as well if we have a green stamp on all of our products.

As implied above, we have to change our consciousness if we are going to solve the problems that we’ve inherited. We have to simplify our lives.

We have to say, I am going to live in a place where I don’t need a car and can get to work and the stores I need to go to on foot, bicycle, or public transit.

We have to say, I’m going to give myself enough time in the day to make meals out of non-processed foods.

We have to say, I am not going to load myself up with so many meetings and responsibilities and hobbies that I cannot live without a car and cannot take some time out to make my own dinner.

We have to change our lives, not the brand of our products. (Although, please do that as well!)

We have to realize that it is our lifestyles that are the problem.

Green represents life.

And it is our lives that have to be green,

not the products we consume and acquire.




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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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  • http://stlhomeboy.blogspot.com/ Joel

    Great insights, Zachary. Welcome to GO – quite an impressive debut.

    You sound a lot like my conscience.

  • Yanti Regar

    I need more information about saving our plannet as I will try to give presentation about save our plannet. I will start with simple thing but important, like how our life style should change. Such as turn off the light when going out from the room, don’t let the electronics on stand by positions, to minimize the tap watter consumptions, to minimize using plastic bags and plastic container, etc. Please send me some informations,which I ever watched on Oprah’s talk shaw, etc.

  • Rachel

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. You are so right I believe that in time, and it may take many generations for a complete change to happen but I think that the more we condition our selves and our children and thier children that eventually the conciousness of the entire world will be greener and this is the light at the end of the tunnel for all. So, the world has people like you to Thank. Thanks!!!

  • shannon

    Thanks for being so profound and direct. I am going to forward this post to all my friends.
    I often feel guilty that I can’t make all the changes I want and need to overnight, but I realize that I can’t let my guilt overwhelm me, I just have to continue to take steps to change my habits and conditioning as much as I can, and each step of the way I will remember that it is better than nothing at all, and look for ways to do more and more.
    I am luck you have a brother who is so insightful and inspirational to learn from :-)

  • Roberto

    Yeahhh… I love it…
    I want live in a green world…
    I want… I can

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  • Kelly

    my goodness, my goodness, my goodness. Some days I feel though I’ll talk to people until I’m blue in the face about breaking down our previous systems of thinking to actually bring forth change. For this world and the next. This post is beautiful. well done.

  • megan

    Hey, did you read my mind? :) I’ve been saying this (and trying to do it) for years… and I’m still nowhere as green as I want to be. It all starts with a mindshift, everything else follows.

    Thanks for this post! Very insightful and right on.

  • Zachary Shahan

    Thank you all. Yes, I think that is the essence of it all. Simple — our consciousness, our inner mental world. And all the ways it affects our life.

  • C. Irene

    Yes Yes and Yes. Sounds like simple centering, simple life. Love the article.

  • Mira

    Bravo!

  • http://www.recycleyourday.com LaMamaNaturale’

    Amen!! Great post and well written! I completely agree with you that it is about changing our consciousness.

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