Catching a ‘green’ wave

Published 9:11 am Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ever since its start, everyone is riding the environmentally-friendly “Green” wave…err, make that a “Green” tsunami.

Don’t get me wrong, going green is a noble, helpful, and not to mention, a financially conscience cause. But we live in the Untied States of America, the land of trends and “that’s hot” and voila, it’s “totally in” to be green.

Suddenly, everyone is an earth-loving, organic only, recycle bin filling, hybrid purchasing, compact florescent light blinding, peace, love and harmony hippie (sorry mom).

You’ve got to love capitalism…after all; it’s what makes the world go ‘round.

For those who venture into the green way of living there are several choices and products that can be purchased. From environmentally safe housecleaners to organically grown cotton shirts—any of it can be yours for the low price of $9.99!

OK, I’m assuming the housecleaners would be cheaper, but it’s true…there are all sorts of products out there to tempt anyone into “green living.”

Companies are not only going green themselves, but rewarding employees who chose to carpool to work or use fuel efficient vehicles.

Ad campaigns for Subaru and other companies try to sell their product by channeling green and noting their “green” ways of doing business.

Saint Peter knows, where there’s a trend, there’s Hollywood. In fact, I blame Leonardo DiCaprio for getting this whole trend moving. Remember his flag waving for Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth?”

All those pre-teens with their raging hormones and “I (insert photo of a heart) Leo” t-shirts, where ever Leo goes follows his flock of fan-girls in their fuel-guzzling SUVs.

In some ways I was bred to go green. My mom is that “hippie” I wrote about…except she doesn’t own a hybrid.

Like her parents taught her, she taught me the “waste not, want not” and along with hippie traditions: take care of the Earth, never pollute, and put trash where it belongs; yada, yada.

There was a time when I was young that we made crafts out of our used Popsicle sticks and bird feeders out of plastic soda bottles—being creative and reusing items.

Then there was our first recycling box that pretty much everything went into.

It wasn’t a lot, but it was doing something to help.

Now days with my mom in New York, I’m pretty much on my own with the green wave breathing down my neck.

I can’t help but want to be “green,” with all the peer pressure coming from several sources (advertising, stores, the media).

I’ve tried to help with using reusable grocery bags and recycling (when I remember)

While I believe everyone should do their part and should try to be resourceful and “green”…there are those that go above, beyond and through the woods.

While ridding my living room the other night (at an ungodly hour) of magazines and other useless clutter, I clicked on the television and came upon a show about people living “off the grid,” referring to isolated groups of people who live without public utilities and typically rely on wind or solar power.

The show followed a rag-tag crowd of vagabonds/hippie look-a-likes in the southwest who govern their own community and grow their own crops for food.

It was a unique situation and interesting at first, but then came the crazy vandal teens that broke into homes and stole the organically grown food—not so nice.

Instead of calling local law enforcement, they decided to handle it their way through negotiations and the consideration of banishment.

Probably the most interesting part of it was when the documentarians interviewed the rebels, holed up in the desert on the edge of the community wearing scarves over their faces like Columbian revolutionists.

Yeah, nothing like eco-soap operas.

And then there are the freeganists whom I read about in Time magazine who raid the dumpsters behind restaurants and grocery stores for their “daily bread.”

Eww, ‘nuff said.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.