While "going green" is slowly creeping its way into an acceptable place in our consumerist society, choosing to live a green lifestyle is still more of a fringe movement than the status quo. Many of those who show an interest in preserving our environment are still categorized as living an "alternative lifestyle," but does caring for our planet really require a label? Shouldn't conserving our earth be the norm?
According to Wikipedia, "the roots of the modern environmental movement can be traced to attempts in 19th-century Europe and North America... but only after the second World War did a wider awareness begin to emerge." Environmental awareness has consistently grown since that time and the modern green movement began to take shape in the 1970s. Why is it that in the year 2013, approximately 40 years after the movement began to set down roots, we are still guzzling down gas, producing non-biodegradable plastic products and over-consuming natural resources while mainstream society remains environmentally unconscious? Social movements are necessary for change but there comes a time when reforms must be absorbed into the culture and the time for adapting these eco-conscious practices is now.
Perhaps the looming tower of pre-existing infrastructure is one massive block to environmental reforms. It may seem overwhelming, expensive and difficult for governments and corporations to make the many necessary changes in order to cease these earth-harming practices, so it is up to the people to begin to change.
There is no need for massive revolution at the start -- even little alterations in our normal actions and habits can have far-reaching, positive results. Whether it's carrying a glass water bottle and filling it with filtered tap water, buying local products from a farmer's market or even micro-investing in green technology, we can all find simple things to change in our daily lives.
We must also find appropriate ways to keep our governments and corporations in check. They are here to serve the people, not the other way around. Ultimately it is our responsibility to ensure the well-being of our planet and we cannot look to them to make changes for us. We are the ones who must do it!
If each one of us alters one little behavior today, think of all positive change around the globe that we would see tomorrow! It is easy to look at the world at large and think that nothing will happen because we are not all on the same page, but that way of thinking is what is keeping us in this stalemate. This change starts with you and it starts with me. Eventually if enough people do it, everyone will jump on board.
Our voices are a powerful force and when we come together, we are unstoppable. If each of us takes responsibility to care for our planet, we can create positive, lasting change. It's time we drop the "green labels," come together and make the "green lifestyle" the norm.