Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What does it mean to be "Green" ?

Many people have asked me... and in some cases challenged me... on what it means to be green.  Well... like many issues... being green means different things to different people.  I always tell people I am trying to live a green or sustainable life by only using the things I in the course of daily living and not more than my fair share.  Once again... this means different things to different people.  We live in a consumption society today that keeps this right out in front each and every day.  I like to call it the "Bigger, better, more society" and I'm sorry to say this is front and center in the lives of our children. 

I love watching my girls play with their toys and go into the real world of play by make believe.  If your a parent you know what I'm talking about.  It's the magical moment when you catch a child in true play.  You can hear them acting out a sene in their mind... taking on a different voice or facial expression and in the moment.   It struck me as disappointing to hear them talk about things like getting a ride in a "Limo" or being in a "Mansion" in some of their role playing.   I'm always puzzled with were they came up with these idea's.  It certainly did not come from us since we don't consider our home a mansion and we certainly don't have drivers take around town in limos!

My point is that our children have been brought up in a generation of consumption and are bombarded with messages that bigger, better, more.... will lead to a satisfying and purposeful life.  I'm not saying I don't want my children to dream big dreams and have big goals.  Not the case.  I want them to understand that the happiness factor in life in not guaranteed with a large house and a long car with a driver and tinted glass.   To the contrary.... I believe that people get caught up in this because the realize it is a one time opportunity to feel star struck.... people will look at me! 

Now... on the other hand.... how many celebrities have reached for the brass ring only to get to the top and find themselves alone with their material goods.... hooked on drugs, running from a bigger set of problems... brought on by... well... the unquenchable thirst for more stuff!

So... moral to the story... teach your children to value what they have... take care of it... and don't take more than you need.   If you take materials into nature.... be sure to bring out everything.  Leave nothing but a footprint... so the saying goes.

Now... my final point on how being green means different things to different people is.... that this week being green in my house means... being a Lake Orion Dragon Football fan.  Our local high School football team (my son is a team member, proud dad!) is green and white in color.  They advance to the State of Michigan championship game this weekend at Ford Field in Detroit Michigan.  So... all I can say to close out this conversation is.....

Go Green!        http://www.facebook.com/don.sherman