What Does It Really Mean to Go “Green”?


Let’s face it… Most of us, if honest, will humbly acknowledge that we have been thrust into this wave of environmentally focused awareness having only a limited scope of perspective and true understanding of what it means to actually live and function in a “green” society. Various media vehicles such as the Internet, World News, and even in casual conversations among our peers or co-workers have all greatly massaged our need to know more. Long gone are the days of feeling responsible because we separated the plastics from the paper in our recycling receptacles. Oh no… the responsibility has become so much greater. There is an evolving and complex world of a global proportion that begs further investigation.

Let us begin…

“Going green” means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.

And so, let us delve into these “practices” that are designed to make us more ecologically responsible citizens and truly discover how adopting “green” traditions can change the way we live and ultimately change the world in which we live.

It can be argued that one of the major factors in positively contributing to the environment’s vitality is the practice of sustaining what has been given to us as natural resources. The idea of ecological sustainability points directly to the ability of a society to balance the depletion of renewable and non-renewable resources with the exact equivalent substitution of the said same with no discontinuity in between. What this means is that, as we use a specific resource, we have to ensure that the availability of that same resource is afforded the opportunity to thrive thereafter.

A very relatable and practical practice of sustainability is found in the business concept behind the online auction giant, eBay. This company upholds sustainability in that it offers people all around the world the opportunity to buy and exchange used goods that would otherwise go to waste, thereby lengthening its lifespan and productive energy. Where the environment is concerned, there should be a similar exchange of conscious replacement of resources used that becomes an effortless way of living. The result is a never-ending and plenteous stockpile of products and goods from which we can constantly create, re-create, and sustain.

Another practice closely associated with “going green” can be found in the implementation of the Green Supply Chain Management Program. What this is, is an adoption of widely used sub-programs by large and small companies who have dedicated a large portion of their production efforts to the implementation and execution of environmentally conscious practices. One such program is the recycling initiative where employees are encouraged to eliminate their usual practices of throwing away renewable resources and instead place them into receptacles that will later be transported to larger facilities who will, in turn, use green processes to sustain the vitality of the items used. These ecologically driven actions are positively reinforced with rewards, special privileges, and other forms of recognition that are designed to boost morale and encourage similar positive behaviors.

Also growing rapidly in popularity in small and large businesses alike is heightened focus on the reduction of carbon emissions and the use of environmentally harmful toxins in the production aspects of their industries. More and more, businesses are employing carbon-free or reduced-carbon sources of energy such as wind power and solar power in order to drastically affect the amount of carbon-based fuels emitted into the atmosphere. Not only has this proven to be a strategic business strategy for some, but it has also contributed to a healthier and cleaner environment for the whole to enjoy. Businesses of varied trades, specifically in the construction and home building industries, are also taking a more considerate look at the products they use in their production phases and end projects. Most have adopted the use of more efficient, and sometimes more costly, eco-friendly brands to supplement the toxic and bio-accumulative ones. This simple change has contributed to improved air quality and cleaner work environments in a notably impactful way.

So, there is a part that we can all play in the global effort to create a “greener” environment. We can agree that the effort really begins in understanding why changes to the way we have done things in the past are minimal when compared to the hugely beneficial harvest we will enjoy in the future. If we intend to be here for a while, we should all endeavor to make it a place worth being.