Spreading the Green
by Lee Rudebusch
Green is a buzz word that is thrown around the media a lot these days and it can mean a lot of differently things to a lot of different people. Some might hear green and think “recycling”, some might think “sustainable energy”, others “a way to make a buck”. Until recently, I was one of many people that would hear green and think of nothing more than the color. I would live my life doing what was comfortable, what was easy. It also wasn’t until recently that I was an environmental science major. Once pursuing an environmental degree I began to learn a lot more about the environment even beyond the class room. Through talking with peers and reading articles I became a lot more educated on the ecological issues that we face today. Suddenly green started to mean something more than just the color. I began to recognize my wasteful habits and suddenly wasn’t so comfortable with my lifestyle. I decided to go “green” to help face some of the ecological issues I was now aware of.To go green I made simple lifestyle changes that would help to reduce my personal energy consumption and waste such as recycling, cutting down on trash, riding my bicycle more often, and becoming a vegetarian. But more significant than anything else, I started talking about these decisions. I found that changing my lifestyle did more than impact the environment, but I also made an Impact on my family and friends around me. People would ask me questions about why I am collecting all the cans at a party or why I have tofu in the fridge. In answering them I was able to help them recognize how our decisions have an effect on the environment. I extended my education on to others and provided an example on how to reduce their environmental impact. Being green means more to me than driving a Prius. To me, green means spreading the word to others on how to make simple, educated lifestyle changes that help fight ecological issues. In all honestly one person changing their habits for the environment may only save a few trees. Only when large groups exercise them can these habits save the earth.
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