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Is It Easy Being Green? [Kermit Video Included]

You all know the popular phrase, “It’s not easy being green,” and have seen it applied to living in and environmentally-friendly way at least once or twice. But, is it really so difficult to be green?

Let’s just look at three topics, which would cover the huge majority of our environmental footprint — food, transportation, and energy.

How Hard Is It to Eat Organic and/or Vegetarian?

Quite simply, it’s easy. Organic food is highly accessible these days. It’s just a matter of getting into the habit of buying it instead of conventional food (and accepting that higher-quality food that is better for the environment and people costs a little more).

I was actually raised on organic, vegetarian food. And my parents were by no means rich,.. in fact, quite the opposite. So, it has always seemed easy to me. But learning from my parents, friends, and others who have made the shift, it can be easy for someone who didn’t start out that way, too. It is possible, if you just learn a little bit about how to do it right and make the necessary shift in perspective (that is really the biggest thing).

How Hard Is It to Green Your Transport?

Again, the difficulty is mostly just in breaking habits. I understand and can empathize with you on this one. I was born and raised in auto-centric Florida and when I became a teenager I thought I needed to have a car. I got one and got addicted to it before going to college and getting inspired from others to try bicycling and riding the bus instead. I found bicycling was much more pleasant, made me feel a ton better, and was thousands of times cheaper. Yet, it took a lot of “two steps forward, one step back” to get out of the habit completely and get rid of my car.

I’ve had periods of time since then when I was mostly bicycling, periods when I was mostly riding the bus, periods when I was mostly riding a streetcar, and periods when I was mostly walking. Never did I feel like I needed a car and was sacrificing something (living in various places: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, California, the Netherlands, and Poland).

How Hard Is It to Go Solar?

Now, this is one I have no personal experience in. I have been moving from place to place for years now and never know where I’ll be in the next year, so the decision to go solar or not hasn’t come up (unfortunately). But I have been a writer on CleanTechnica for almost two years now and have read a ton on the subject. There are many places these days where you can get your money back from a solar installation within a few years, and plenty more where you can get your money back within a dozen or so. After that, you’re actually making money.

So, again, I don’t think it’s all that challenging. It’s just a matter of looking into it (something that has gotten quite easy these days) and then making the change.

As a guest writer pointed out earlier today, a lot of people making the switch to solar in Australia are doing so for financial reasons (not even for environmental reason). The same thing is happening around the U.S. Look into it. You could save yourself some cash.

In the end, I think it’s a lot easier being green these days than it used to be (someone needs to let Kermit know). It is mostly a matter of how we approach it, in our heads. You have thoughts on the matter I haven’t discussed? Agree. Disagree?

Related Story: Are You Acting Like a Coal or Oil Company CEO?

Photo Credit: Yogma




3 comments
  1. shawn taylor

    hey zach!! it’s as easy as one wants to make it. driving a car is easy. riding a bike isn’t as easy, but hardly difficult in many situations. gardening is not as easy as grocery store bags of lettuce but not as rewarding or healthy as getting sun and dirt on one’s skin. shutting off lights will save money and coal fired electricity from being used wastefully if we get up to turn them off. easy as our moral compass directs us. be well zach!!

  2. Rob Guenier

    Well, Zach, it certainly feels good to be “green”. For example, my wife and I are lucky enough to be able to grow most of our own vegetables and fruit; and we keep chickens. Nothing tastes better than food in season and really fresh eggs. Also we’ve planted hundreds of trees in recent years. Moreover, I’m developing a community garden for less advantaged people in our local urban environment – although it hasn’t proved economically practicable for it to be fully organic.

    But none of this is prompted by thoughts of “saving the planet”. On that, I strongly suggest this (long) article, written by two committed believers in dangerous AGW: http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2011/02/the_long_death_of_environmenta.shtml
    It shines a harsh light on the realities facing the environmental movement. Here’s a small example (relevant to your article):

    “ … we need to stop imagining that we will solve global warming through behavior changes. There are no doubt many good reasons for those of us with enough affluence and control over the material circumstances of our lives to turn away from accumulative consumption. But we should not imagine this to be a climate strategy.”

    BTW I followed up your Skeptical Science link to the study (Doran 2009) that you claimed was evidence that a “consensus” of climate scientists supported your view on dangerous AGW. Unfortunately (for you) it’s (a) flawed as opinion research and (b) doesn’t support your view anyway. I see you’ve referred several commentators to it. I suggest you stop doing so.

    Rob

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