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Green is just a common sense

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Green is just common sense

Posted April 24, 2009

Jumping on bandwagons and following the latest trend has been drilled into me as being ridiculous.

I do not consciously buy clothing with labels because I could not care less if people knew I wore Coach shoes that cost more than my monthly salary or $10 clearance shoes that I bought at the local Payless.

Why follow the latest trends just because everyone else does? Your motive should be to buy something or participate in a specific activity because it truly makes you happy.

But if you are just doing something because Paris Hilton is doing it, you should probably do a self-evaluation.

Like my mother always says. Would you jump off of a bridge just because someone else jumped off of the bridge?

My point is I do not follow trends. The going green trend is one of those.

I fought really hard against going green because everybody was doing it. Everybody started driving Priuses and hybrids and carrying around reusable bags. I am convinced that a lot of people were not doing those things because they care about the environment.

They were following whatever the coolest celebrity at the time was doing.

In my effort to avoid following the newest fad of being green, I did not realize I have been living a pretty green life all along and it was nothing that I was doing consciously.

It has a lot more to do with respect for others and respect for my environment.

I was taught to pick up trash and put it in the appropriate receptacle. Granted, there were very few bins designated for recyclables when I was very young, but I was still extremely careful about waste.

Today I save the plastic bags that I get and also reuse them over and over again and I have reusable bags that I have had for years.

Granted, they are not the fancy kind with the green sayings and logos on them, but they get the job done.

Energy is another area that I have not been very conscious about, but I have noticed all of those years of my mom yelling at me to turn off the lights have finally sunk in.

I now have a compulsion to turn off lights when they are left on with no one in the room.

What really scares me is that when I babysat for a friend of mine I was constantly telling her children to turn off the lights when they left the room.

Water has become something I am very conscious of as well.

My mom taught me that I do not need to have the water running while I brush my teeth, taking a 20 minute shower is unnecessary and watering the lawn is best done at night or insanely early in the morning. These tasks have just become common sense.

Being green has been a part of me for my whole life, not a trend I recently picked up.

Some of were out of necessity, but most of the habits were just common sense. Being wasteful does not make sense. When I was younger everything was used and reused. My sister and I wore hand-me-downs, we shopped at thrift stores and rummage sales and we did not leave the air conditioner on at all hours. In fact, we survived many summers without any air conditioning at all.

We have always been careful about how much water and energy we used. Being green is not hard, it is simply doing things that are just common sense. You do not have to drive yourself insane to go green and it does not have to fill your every waking thought.

So happy belated Earth Day and do not forget that every day is an opportunity for you to care about the earth.

Susan Acker, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at susan.acker@laverne.edu.