We live in a society of trending. What YouTube videos are trending? The latest fashion trend. Between twitter hash tags and memes, it becomes easy to understand important social issues such as environmentalism as trends as well.
My parents grew up with limited resources. They had limited resources adjusted accordingly. As an Kenyan immigrant, my family has, due to numerous reasons, being “green.” My family shopped in thrift stores, reused jars and had a garden. Instead of paper towels, we use dish cloth. During the summer, we dry hang clothes in the backyard. I somehow adapted this. As a senior in college, I now prefer vintage clothes and accessories to anything else. Instead of buying plastic containers, I reuse butter containers and pasta jars. What many in the U.S. consider “going green,” others simply deam a part of life.
Environmental issues are important for a number of reasons. Award winning activist Majora Carter’s talk “Greening the Ghetto” talks about these issues as they relate to the South Bronx. She addresses many of the reasons why everyone regardless of race, class or location should become aware.
Here are other reasons why environmentalism is important:
1) Environmental degradation affects community spaces such as playgrounds, schools, and other businesses.
2) Environmental injustice disproportionally effects people of color and those in urban spaces.
“As a black person in America, I am twice as likely as a white person to live in an area where air pollution poses the greatest risk to my health. I am five times more likely to live within walking distance of a power plant or chemical facility — which I do.”
3) There is a link between health and environment.
“Land use decisions created the hostile conditions that lead to diabetes and asthma (which disproportionally effect marginalizes groups)”.
We cannot change the world individually or instantaneously, we can influence those around us, like my parents influenced me. For those not necessary invested in theses issues, going green can also mean saving money and creating a more aesthetically pleasing spaces. In addition to some of the more obvious ways of going green mentioned above, here are some more artistic ways to keep being green.
Recycle a used light bulb
See photo above./