Imagine a pastoral futuristic world. Is this the world we are (trying?) to build with numerous ‘go green’ initiatives? Or is this picture, perhaps, just a temporary trend? A way to feel good about ourselves when we buy a ‘green’ product, or better yet is it a marketing strategy to promote businesses?
It is not just one thing or another, it is all of the above. Going green has become a complex phenomenon, though it owes its popularity to being a trend, it also owes its perseverance to its dedicated activists who started it all. Though for many being green is just a trend, going green is becoming a norm which is being reinforced throughout the world.
It’s not that new
Environmental awareness is not that new, we can trace it back to Romantic movement and Industrial revolution, if not earlier. For the first time in recorded history, the change in nature was noticeable on such a level that the environment issue has been a constant topic ever since. Back then environment and its problems were primarily the subjects of poetry and concern of few. Not like nobody cared, but the world was changing so rapidly, next to the growth of industrial revolution and the fear of world wars, the environment was not seen as one of the principal issues.
Go green as an integrated part of society
What changed recently is not that we ‘care more’ but that we ‘show that we care’. Due to expansion and emersion of business, marketing and (social) media, go green initiatives have become a marketing sensation and a popular business model. This created emersion of the green economy, which combines not just concern for the environment but also economy, politics etc.
Owning a business without supporting the green initiative is considered bad form, especially by the consumers, and consequently shareholders. This changed the approach towards environmental issues – caring about the environment has become a necessary business strategy.
For this reason, depending on the magnitude and nature of a particular business all are expected to contribute to a point. Thus, supermarkets are expected to provide paper bags as an alternative to plastic bags or a multimillion business is expected to install solar panels. The key is doing more, and posting it all. Though that sounds as ‘tricking’ the consumers, it is actually a more sustainable model than going green because it is the ‘right thing to do’.
Social media are flooded with go green hashtags and slogans, by both businesses and private users alike, which does show that it is a trend, for sure, but also that it has become a concern of all of us. This is why reusing bags instead of taking new ones at stores or reclaiming recycled pieces of furniture has become more socially acceptable. Posting it online just reinforces the trend.
As the number of people keeps rising so does the amount of trash that we, regularly, produce. Recycling has become legally regulated in many countries. However, that is not always the case and not all unneeded items can be disposed of in such a way, but this has created a whole new branch of more affordable rubbish removal businesses.
Go green as a change of perspective
Calling ‘go green initiatives’ a true awakening would also be too farfetched as they are not a complete revolution of thought, but a more grounded, political and economical model of environment preservation. But what makes it appear as an awakening is the fact that the attitude towards the environment has changed through generations for the better. Each generation tries to incorporate more environmentally friendly aspects to their everyday lives. What makes the whole idea so noticeable is the fact that these aspects are done on personal but also on a state level. Governments all over the world are introducing new harsher environmental laws. Similar to the business model, governments and its parties follow the trend as to answers the public demand for ‘go green initiatives’.
To sum up, going green does not seem to be either a momentary trend or a true awakening. It has integrated the everyday life of us all, in businesses, social media, economy, politics and government.
Though it has become somewhat controversial because of its introduction into the popular, still it is considered an important aspect of our lives.
What changes have you made in your life to support the go green initiatives?
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