Many non-trendy reasons to go green

Going green has become a fad in the US. And it seems many individuals, college campuses and businesses are making attempts to become a part of this fad. “Going green” essentially means doing things that are environmentally friendly such as recycling, using less electricity, using canvas shopping bags and driving a fuel efficient car. The environmental movement has existed for decades, but only recently has it become so trendy to go green.

Many people feel compelled to go green simply because it is fashionable and they want to do it for social recognition. In some social circles it is uncool to not go green, and often times some people who decide to go green may feel superior to those who don’t. This sense of superiority breeds contempt and a sense of pretentiousness that compels some people to make the decision to not go green — they don’t want to be seen as a pretentious tree-hugger.

Likewise, there are some who resist the green movement because they fear going green may be more expensive.

You shouldn’t avoid making rational, environmentally-friendly choices simply out of fear of being seen as pretentious. There are far more pragmatic and rational reasons to go green other than to be seen as cool.

For instance, canvas shopping bags are not only more durable than paper or plastic bags, but they negate the need of retailers to continuously buy paper and plastic bags, thereby reducing costs. They are also less likely to become the urban tumbleweeds that plastic shopping bags have become.

Reducing your energy consumption is not only environmentally friendly because of reduces the emission of greenhouse gases, it also can save you money on your electricity and gas bills.

Then there is the issue of recycling. Wherever there is a garbage can on campus, there is likely a recycling bin not too far away. It takes very little effort to recycle your trash while on campus. When off campus, students can recycle their paper at the Houston Public Library.

Recycling is easy and profitable. Aluminum cans, that normally would have ended up in a dump, can be sold to a recycling center. And, a piece of paper intended for a garbage bin can easily be placed in one of the library’s recycling bins where it can be used to help fund the library’s effort to buy books.

Going green, therefore, is not necessarily a costly measure — it can actually save and create money. Someone’s primary motivation for going green should be because it is responsible, reasonable and profitable — not because it is trendy.

James Johnson is a psychology senior and may be reached at [email protected].

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