Where Did Going Green Originate?

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “going green” before. If you haven’t heard this slogan, you’d have to be living under a rock. The term going green is everywhere. Everything seems to be green these days, green jobs, green energy and the like. You would think that the green movement is a fairly new concept, maybe starting in 2002 when Jill Buck started the Environmental Training And Stewardship Program. Or maybe you think the movement started in the mid 1990s. Perhaps you think it began in the 1960s due to a book written by Rachel Carson entitled “Silent Spring”, that takes a look into the worldwide ecological degradation. Well, the green movement has been around for a lot longer than that. First, let’s see what this actually means.

What Does The Slogan Going Green Mean?

So what does it mean to “go green?” In essence it means to achieve protection and sustainability of the environment. In order to achieve this, there has to be steps taken to conserve and protect the planet. It’s better to “give” to the planet, rather than “take away” from it. How do you go green? There are hundreds of ways to go green. Just do a Google search on “how to go green” and you’ll get thousands of entries on the subject. Here are just a few ways to go green.

  • Bike or walk to work. This decreases the amount of exhaust that a car would emit into the air. Exhaust fumes pollute the air and create hazardous breathing conditions. You’ll also be saving gas money, and will be keeping your body in shape by the extra exercise.
  • Buy locally grown food. When you buy food that is grown locally, you can support your local farmers and your local economy. If you buy general fruits and vegetables, they often travel over 2,000 miles from where they were grown to your local store. This adds to the pollution by the food having to be brought in by large trucks which produce exhaust.
  • Don’t buy bottled water. Use a reusable stainless steel water bottle instead. Plastic bottles are tossed into landfills after just one use, and they degrade very slowly.
  • Make your own cleaners. Traditional cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to your health. There are plenty of natural cleaning options available that will do the cleaning job just as well.

These are just a few of the ways you can “go green.”

Where Did Going Green Originate?

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where and when the green movement and the idea of going green first originated. The idea of going green can be dated as far back as the 19th century, when activist Henry David Thoreau worked at living a “green” life. The movement to go green has been deeply rooted in Americans for roughly two hundred years. President Theodore Roosevelt took a very large step toward conserving the environment when he started the conservation project of Yosemite Park. Roosevelt managed to increase the National Forests by 151 million acres with his conservation efforts.

The environmental focus shifted to the background due to two major World Wars and the Great Depression. Things got stirred back up as far as environmental concerns went when “Silent Spring” was released. And since that time, we’ve had the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as the Clean Air Act, Earth Day began in the 1970s, and Congress passed the Endangered Species Act.

There were several oil spills in the 1980s, and more environmental work was done to protect the environment. Chemicals such as DDT were banned, and the Water Pollution Control Act was formed. The 1990s brought the fear of global warming and climate change into the minds of people.

It’s difficult to know exactly where the term “going green” originates. Big events, such as global warming and oil spills bring environmental concerns to the forefront. The efforts for the environment may slip now and then due to more pressing concerns, but, I think it’s safe to say that as long as there have been humans on the earth, we’ve been doing out part to help protect the planet we call home.

Photo by Erin_Beth