THE BLOG

10 Paths to Green Citizenry

11/14/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

(cross-post from La Marguerite blog)

As I spend more and more time in green-dom, I realize there are not just a few, but many, many ways to become a green citizen. Problems arise when we are being forced into a one green-for-all carcan. These are some of the most common types I have observed so far:

1) The extreme greenies, the ones that walk their talk, and some more. I talked about them last week in my post on 'More Extreme Environmentalists Needed'. They are at the forefront of the green movement, have been for years, and will continue to be, as the need for higher green standards becomes more acute. 
2) The green moms, who cannot get enough of green tips to keep their little ones safe and organic. Last night, some of the green moms in my group were celebrated in a big rah-rah event in Washington DC. The green mamas are taking off!  All of a sudden, there are not enough of them to make the rounds of the networks. Who would have thought, even just a year ago?
3) The green intellectuals, who spend their time thinking about strategic solutions to the big environmental problems facing us. They thrive on biodiversity loss, deforestation, climate change, overpopulation, peak oil, water crisis... The bigger the issues, the better. 
4) The clean tech crowd, many of them recovering software guys. They can be found at Cafe Coupa in Palo Alto, scheming their next green venture with their engineering friends, and old VC connections. Many of them are members of Cleantech for Obama. 
5) The green political activists, who are into making sure the next green bill makes it to the floor, and gets signed. They work behind the scenes, are on a first name basis with their congressman and senator, and hassles their fellow citizens with numerous petitions. 
6) The green media people, the bloggers like me, who spend a lot of their time, writing in their own blogs, or commenting on others' blogs. Up in the stratosphere, are some stars, like Tom Friedman whose words carry so much weight, as in Hot, Flat and Crowded. The good news is, anyone can join. All it takes is a few minute to start a blog and write a post. No geekiness required. 
7) The green scientists, a select bunch who determines what we should really be talking about. They have become the bearers of increasingly more bad news. No wonder, the Bush administration tried to shut them up. The path to green science-dom is a long and arduous one, but not without rewards. The cleantech types are loving them, and salivating over any new bit of research coming out of their labs. 
8) The green watchdogs, most often found in non profit environmental agencies. Smart, and under-payed, they enjoy the privilege from being able to cause much grief to environmental offenders. Funding is still an issue though, and they are spending too much of their time chasing after dollars to keep their organizations afloat. 
9) The green marketers, whose claim to green-ness is met with great suspicion on the part of the green watchdogs, and even ordinary citizens. They live in dread of the greenwashing word, and just want to do good while making a handsome profit. It ain't easy, but they are getting better.
10) The good green samaritans, who go about their green lives, without great fanfare, and with the satisfaction from knowing that they are just good. They can be found in unlikely places, in poor neighborhoods, where a single mom can surprise you with her green awareness, despite having to worry about so much more. Or a teenager whose green conscience stands out from his or her otherwise clueless family.

To each, his or her green-ness. What is yours?