Going Green

18Dec10

I have turned quite green. Wizard of OZ anyone?

Many people seem to be quite concerned about going green these days. (Yes, as you can see in the picture I have turned quite green). The other day, I saw some pens made from recycled materials in the Brandeis campus bookstore. I got one, not so much because it was recycled, but because it looked special. I usually refill my pens (more green me thinks), so getting a new pen was a little treat.

This also got me thinking. America, as much as I love it, is a “throw-away” society. Many things are disposed of when they break, get “old”, or run out of ink. Many people who live here seem to be so used to everything being disposable that even when they do get something refillable or reusable like a pen, they throw it out when the refill gets used up or when replaceable parts get worn out. Besides bringing about this quite direct effect, this expectation also leads to a more drastic yet more subtle effect. Some people view things like pens, pencils, calculators, iPods, and many other things to be merely disposable and no longer value them enough to take good care of them. For example, you see people chewing up pens or pencils, throwing them at each other, or (Gasp!) even stepping on them. You also see people throwing their calculator, cell phone, or iPod around because they think they can just get a new one whenever what they have breaks. In some ways I think this, in the context of “greenness,” is troubling as I think this is very wasteful.

Refillable (or disposable) pens and pencils

There is one thing I find troubling about the green movement. To some people, green seems to be a marketing word. Sometimes it seems that you have to get rid of all of your old non-green possessions and buy all new green things. If you really think about this, in some cases, as much as this is very good for the pockets of those selling these items, this is actually worse for the environment, and it may actually be greener in some cases to keep your old things and use them instead.

I think that while it is good to be “green,” we should always use good judgement to determine what is actually green and what isn’t. Taking care of the environment can’t be such a bad thing after all.

Take care of yourself! New England is COLD!!

Bramble

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