07 April 2011

The Darker Side of Green

Do we lack interest in the environment to our detriment?  Yes, we do. 

Our environment is fundamental to our health.  Health and vitality are determined by environmental factors.  Our community does not have control over broad decisions that affect our environs.  The chemicals and radiation are produced by industry and we are the customers.  Transportation, development and land uses are determined by business and governments and we are the users.  We need to change these realities and make decisions from the base consumption level that will tilt the environment towards our favor.   How?  There are many ways and lots of ideas to help.
The starting point is us.  We can avoid living in degraded conditions and buying chemical laden food and products.  We can keep our neighborhoods clean; cook healthy meals at home; and make our cleaning and personal products ourselves.  We can reduce excessive driving; try not to live too far from work, family and friends; and we can vote for representatives who support our agenda.  My family has changed over the years and we re-use, recycle and make stuff at home as best we can.  We compost and we have started our organic garden.  It has been hard to change habits, but we are now rewarded with lower utility bills; smaller grocery tabs; and good health.
Do we lack interest in green jobs to our disadvantage?  Absolutely. 
We also disregard the potential for high-paying careers and business opportunities in biology, ecology, botany, geology and other environmental disciplines.  We could be working in the beautiful outdoors hiking, researching or boating in consulting, recreational and public service domains.  Getting paid and having fun; sweet!  We could be making development decisions; grant decisions; and corporate decisions involving huge amounts of funds that could affect the bottom lines; dollars and our environmental future.  There is an extreme absence of persons of color in green careers.  Why?  There are too many reasons to count and not enough studies to back up theories. 
The initial effort begins with us.  We need to be educated in these fields in order to make a difference.  The ready, willing and able are the ones who can take advantage of opportunity.  My parents prepared me by allowing me and my siblings to run through the woods and streams.  Our Dad owned a fish store when we were kids.  We grew up with a house full of fish, hamsters and dogs.  We were not wealthy, but we had parents who supported us and allowed us to explore.   Education was most important in our upbringing; following the footsteps of our educated aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and other extended relations.   We must educate ourselves and our children in ecological topics and support our families as they learn and grow towards green professions.
The darker side of green must materialize; otherwise, the negative trends of economic distress and environmental injustice will continue to adversely impact our community. 
Black Organic is here.   Are you coming?

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