Living on the Hedge
Green living has been on the decline. Why?
Harris Interactive has found that fewer Americans are practicing eco-friendly habits than they were in 2009, and only a minority of Americans consider themselves environmentally-conscious consumers. In fact, only one-third of Americans name the future of the environment as an issue of great concern to them. Why the decline in eco-friendly living? What can we do to make life greener for all of us?
Brooklyn, NY-based sustainability expert and activist Marisa Gross, known as Lady Greenthumbs, kindly offered her unique and insightful perspective on the issue.
demodirt.com: What is your reaction to the poll results? Do you find it surprising at all, or not?
Lady Greenthumbs: After reading the results, I am not surprised that there has been a decline in green living. I’m inspired to work even harder to make a difference and encourage others to do the same.
demodirt.com: Why do you think there has been a decline in green living over the last few years?
Lady Greenthumbs: We live in a society where news drives the conversation. The economy, national security and healthcare have become the focus and that directs the consciousness of the masses. Since the times we live in are so distracting, it takes forward thinking, change, thoughtful effort and decision making to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
demodirt.com: How can Americans be encouraged to lead more eco-friendly lifestyles?
Lady Greenthumbs: I encourage people to be more conscious of their habits and their ecological footprint and to get familiar with the lifecycle of the products they consume. Taking inventory of their carbon and ecological footprint via Nature.org’s Footprint Calculator is a great place to start.
Documentary films such as Thrive, Gasland, Forks Over Knives, Dirt! The Movie and the well-known Al Gore film, An Inconvenient Truth, are extremely compelling and informative and can be a great motivator towards a greener lifestyle.
It’s also important to recognize that a single person can make a difference. As Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see.”
demodirt.com: What are the simplest steps Americans can take to live green?
Lady Greenthumbs: I encourage people to eliminate some of the noise out of daily life. For example, on average, Americans watch 35 hours of television a week. We can supplement the “noise” with more engaging, productive and sustainable experiences. Start by creating dialogue with friends, family and communities about the environment. Get the youth and the elders involved.
Eliminate plastic bags, skip the bottled beverages, unplug when not in use and use less when in use, repurpose old t-shirts to replace paper towels, monitor water usage, cycle instead of gas guzzle and reduce meat intake.
demodirt.com: Any other thoughts to share with demodirt.com readers?
Lady Greenthumbs: Activism is an important tool in these times. The power of social media has been a successful medium in creating mass shifts on a global scale and I encourage people to connect with social networks and causes that are of interest to them. Besides connecting with online communities, volunteer work is great way to connect with community in-person, on a grassroots level.
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