Every time I use the word “green”, I cringe inwardly. The word strikes me at best as trendy, and at worst as pretentious. I can guarantee that I am not trendy, and I fervently hope that I am not pretentious. However, for the time being, it seems the most efficient way to communicate, and until another monosyllabic term presents itself, I’ll make do with offering my own very subjective and unquantifiable definition.
So, when on my blog, where you read “green”, decode it as:
- safe for humans, especially children, and animals, both wild and domesticated
- non-damaging to the environment
- not problematic for future generations
- sustainable or renewable
- sensible and responsible
Did I leave off “natural” and “organic” on purpose? Glad you asked. Yes, I did. For the purpose of my personal definition here, I am steering clear of fuzzy or legal terms. Natural does not always equal safe, and as you can see from countless labels, many people would argue that everything is natural since everything originated in the earth, no matter how far removed it may now be. As for “organic”, while the legal definition is well and good, I certainly know many excellent farms and ranches that have chosen, for a variety of reasons, not to pursue organic certification. Their practices still follow all the bullets in my list above.
In all this, though, there is the added element of making do with what you have. I think that is part of “green-ness” as well. In certain areas, being green (remember – safe, non-damaging, non-problematic, etc.) is more expensive, more time consuming, and requires more thought. Who isn’t running short on at least one of these, if not all three? The last thing I want, is for someone to throw in their vinegar-and-baking-soda-with- a-touch-of-tea-tree-oil towel because they can’t commit 100%. So, whether you’re just turning a bright spring green, or you’re maturing into a deep, lush forest green, you’re going green with me.