January 14, 2008

Is "Green" Just a Fad?

I had an argument last week with a co-worker about the current push for Going Green. His opinion is that it's just a fad, and we won't care about it in two years. I think he's way WAY off, and that it's a movement that has been working for a while and is now getting to the front of people's thinking.

I know that there are some people that are making small changes now, and others that are changing the world. We can't afford hybrid cars right now, but we can switch to cloth diapers. Next car purchase, though, will probably go hybrid. (We're waiting on word about the rumored hybrid minivan!)

In his defense, we were talking about Green as it relates to churches. I don't think that any church has ever sought to work against the environment, but when all of your buildings are older than most of your members, it is often true that there is waste. A lot of churches, though, are replacing old, busted things with new, green things.

I don't believe that any church that is built from this point forward will have the same low-on-environment standards, either. As our church investigaed adding onto our building last year, there was clear committment to do as much as possible to reduce our environmental footprint. I was actually amazed that folks were thinking about these things, and my eyes were opened wide to the opportunities for churches to take real steps to be leaders in this movement.

What is your church (or work, or organization) doing to make itself greener?

Or, better yet, am I way off to think that this is more than a fad that will pass in a couple of years?


  1. I am not an environmentalist and come down more on the conservative side when it comes to "Green" issues and global warming. However, I think people who say "going green is a fad" (your friend is not alone) are missing the bigger picture - the fact that we are custodians with a HUGE responsibility.

    This is my world and the world of my children. Do I want them to have a hard time finding parks to play in because the space is needed for landfills? Do I want people to have increased asthma because of bad air? What about our water supply - do I really want to have to pay lots of extra money to purify water because we dump prescription drugs down the drain?

    And so on...

    As a family, my husband and I believe in minimizing trash by recycling and using "reuasables." We believe in proper disposal of hazardous waste. And we believe in finding fuel alternatives that are more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly - though not all the alternatives currently sounded as positive actually are.

    People need to recognize that this is not a political issue - it's a responsibility issue.

    As for our church. We recycle and reuse, but that's probably about it. It's more about cost than anything else, and unfortunately, most "green" technologies are still more expensive.

  2. okay - I have a terribly worded sentence there: it should say "not all the alternatives currently available are as positive as they sound." LOL

    e.g., check out the actual environmental hazards of producing ethanol, not mention price increases for food.

  3. As one that has been involved in conservation for many years now, it's been both odd and wonderfully gratifying to see the tide turn towards going green. My beef is that much of the current trend is towards *buying things* to be green rather than changing daily behaviors. My shiny new high-efficiency front-loading washer & dryer was a big purchase - and it was the right one to make - but it would have been better for us to skip the dryer altogether and dry our clothes on the line, right?

    People often omit the "reduce and reuse" part of the 3Rs. And our homes and garages and storage spaces and attics and closets become more and more crowded with stuff, as do our minds and spirits. I know I'm starting to sound like a hippy dippy person now, but that's my stream of consciousness at the end of the day!

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  5. My family has been celebrating Earth Day, recycling, and talking about the environmental impact of our actions since . . . the 1970's. We like to think that the world has just caught us up (and, wonderfully, passed us by!) recently.

    Also - right on the nose, Natalie!