What does green mean to you
I don’t know if you have noticed, but being “green” has become all the rage in the last several years. From water bottle and trash bag companies boasting “less plastic used,” to the creation of hybrid & electric cars – it’s all about green. Countless articles, initiatives, and organizations are calling us to be green. But I don’t know about you, I wasn’t sure I wanted to jump on that bandwagon.
Being green is for “hippies”
This is the stereotype I had to get over. I had a college roommate who recycled. What this really meant was letting a pile of plastic containers pile up until it had taken over a corner of the kitchen making us looking like orange juice addicts. She also had a compost pot under our kitchen sink that she took to a farmer’s house maybe once a month. (I don’t know about you, but the smell of rotting cabbage in my house did not inspire me to want to be green). I went along with these “green” steps because if I didn’t, it would be like saying “I hate you earth!” right? But if having a smelly house with containers overrunning the kitchen was being green, I was not interested.
Just because you don’t bicycle to work doesn’t mean you’re an earth hater. No one really thinks “hmm, I would like to make the world a terrible place.” Rather, most of the time, we just aren’t aware or informed about the impact our actions can have on the earth. For example, the average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash every day – about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 75 percent of solid waste is recyclable, only about 30 percent is actually recycled. And you know those convenient plastic water bottles? Americans alone throw away 25,000,000 plastic beverage bottles every hour! Being equipped with the facts can make a huge impact on our attitudes toward saving or reusing the resources we have. The EPA and World Watch Institute have great informative websites that can introduce you to this topic.
Here at Clinic In A Can we have found what being green means to us. We take used metal shipping containers and give them new life as a medical clinic. These containers once were used to ship cargo across oceans and continents but no longer are needed and left without use. We are also in the process of creating a fully solar powered clinic to make it self sustaining and use natural energy. However, we understand that not everyone can take a shipping container and make it a clinic or afford solar panels to power a house. But surely there are some things we can do to take a step in the right direction. If each of us figures out what being green means to us individually and can do one thing – each of us can make an impact for good.
Still not sure what that looks like? Here are some ideas that are as simple as:
- Having your bills and bank statements sent electronically, instead of in the mail.
- Drink from reusable water bottles instead of throw away plastic bottles.
- Get a reusable coffee filter to replace your paper filters.
- Not using plastic straws in your drinks at restaurants
What does green mean to you?
So how about it? Tell me what being green means to you and I’ll feature it on Clinic In A Can’s twitter feed. Or maybe it doesn’t mean anything at all – let me know how you feel about it. Either way I won’t call you an earth hater or a hippie. I might send you an air freshener if you have rotting cabbage under your sink though.