The word “Green” has become a separatist adjective. A term used to separate something from the norm. Until products become Green by default, Green will always be an outsider.
Editorial by Adam Shake
It’s a random Tuesday evening and I am watching Sweat Equity with Amy Mathews. Amy is showing a young couple how to install flooring and kitchen counter tops in their new home. She’s using terms like “Eco Friendly Counter Tops,” and “Sustainable Wood Flooring.”
I turn to my wife and I say, “Until the day when all counter tops are made Eco Friendly by default and all hardwood floors are made from Sustainable material, and people quite tagging them as Eco and Sustainable, the whole shift is doomed to something other than normal.”
Imagine a world in which you go out to buy a new counter top or install hardwood floors or get a new stove. You don’t have to shop for a green product, you don’t have to look for environmental certification, you don’t have to pay extra to make sure something is Energy Star rated. You know that your purchase is what it should be. You can tell your friends that you purchased this or that without having to launch into the fact that it is Green, Eco, Sustainable, Earth Friendly…. It’s a given.
Unless… the product is not all of those things. Unfriendly product should be the exception and should be designated as such. Imagine using the terms “High Energy Appliances” instead of “Energy Star”. Imagine “Virgin Forest Flooring” or “Oil Derivative Counter tops.”
Lets shift the paradigm. “Green Architecture” and “Leed Certification” are all the rage right now, but imagine a world where if something was not built to sustainable and energy efficient standards, it had to be designated as such.
Lets back up a few years. Back before “Better living through chemistry,” every thing that was ever grown for human consumption was by default “Organic.” But we have become so used to the fact that our food must be manipulated, sprayed with poison and grown from seeds conjured up in Monsanto Frankenfood laboratories, that Natural has become Un-Natural.
We shouldn’t be calling natural food “Organic.” We should be calling anything that is not grown naturally, Non-Organic!
Are we there yet? Will I be seeing Amy Mathews saying “Were going to be installing new counter tops and flooring,” without tagging them Green, Eco or Organic? Will I ever stop capitalizing the words Green, Eco or Organic? Not yet. Our society hasn’t given up the “unsustainable is normal” philosophy yet. But someday it will. Someday it must.
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