Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Authentically green

Being green is now a verb. When I was growing up it meant being looked at as different and even weird. "You eat toe fu? What the heck is that?!" My lunch bag packed with sprouts and homemade wheat bread made kids around me at school gag. My mother taught me how to clean and smoosh cans the right way so that they could be recycled. Back then there were strict requirements on how recycling was to arrive at the transfer station. She made most of our clothes, we grew huge gardens which she would dry/freeze/can for winter. I even remember us grinding our own grains for bread. We were thrifty--going out to eat was a big treat.
Now being green is cool and trendy. Everyone wants to jump on the green bandwagon, especially businesses. It's made me pause, more than once, in my own business, EcoMedia LLC and wonder, "Am I doing this for the wrong reason?" I don't want to become someone who uses greenwashing tactics to get ahead in the business world.
But where do we draw the line? Is it wrong to help businesses promote the things they are doing to become more environmentally-friendly? How do we determine if a company is truly trying to help the environment or just trying to put on a "green front" to help their own pocket?


Green Bean said...

Are you my sister?? We grew up in a similar way. The lunches full of sprouts and things we liked to call "birdseed bars" while our classmates dined on Hohos and processed cheese. The orchard and berry patch in the back yard and the hours my mom and grandma would spend stirring up blackberry jam. I don't know that that background makes me any greener than anyone else and, these days, my mom has let most green stuff go. For now, I'm happy to have people jump on the green bandwagon - even if they are only a smidge green. Hopefully, it's a smidge more than they used to be and hopefully its a journey toward more green.

Interesting post.

ChicChick said...

That's funny~Yes, I remember drooling over all the fruit roll ups and ring dings--ahhh, all that artificial color and HFCS!

Personally, I think that my childhood and what I was taught has made the transition back to eating healthier and trying to shrink my carbon footprint a little easier for me. It's like stepping into a pair of favorite jeans that got shoved into the way back part of your closet--it feels comfortable.

Thanks for the comment--I'm off to check out your blog.