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Let’s Make 2019 the Year We Kill Going “Green”

Let’s Make 2019 the Year We Kill Going “Green”

We’re really better than that.

As I was perusing articles for our weekly wrap-up, I saw yet another tagline about ‘going green for your New Year’s resolutions?’

I wanted to cringe.

Let’s be clear: I’m not suddenly against sustainability. But the more we treat sustainable living like this season’s sailor pants trend, the more we do as a disservice to the movement.

Here’s a better edit: Want to be a less-sh*tty human this year?

The problem with “Going Green”

At the beginning of 2019, we’re still seeing a flood of articles talking about how “nice” it is to go green.

When we started this website in 2008 (going on our eleventh year**)*, it felt GREAT to talk about “going green” and doing something “for the environment“.

(BTW I acknowledge that “green” IS in our website name. It was a decision over ten years ago. However, we’ve made a conscious effort to avoid ‘green’ and similar cliches over the past couple of years.)

But we’re way past the point about debating IF you should be recycling, keeping things out of the landfill and reducing your impact.

During the last quarter of 2018, we saw not one, but two, dire reports on climate change from the UN and US Federal Government. We have about eleven years to slash global carbon emissions 45%. This isn’t the time to talk about sustainability as an option, but instead get serious about how to make a human-livable climate in the long-term a reality.

We just learned that 2018 was the highest year for global emissions EVER, an estimated 2.7% increase. We need to be reversing the number, not elevating it.

It’s time to get our sustainable sh*t together.

“Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption.”

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, Washington Post

In 2019, greenwashing is as commonplace as being “green”. Anyone with half a brain can buy a $12 reusable bottle and refuse to buy water out of single-use plastic.

If we want to get politicians and global leaders on board to make radical decisions, we need to be OK with life changes. In fact, we should be embracing the “annoying” ideas, like refusing fossil fuels, cutting meat intake beyond “Meatless Monday” and buying electric or hybrid vehicles. Or carpool more, since that rate has halved from 20% to only 9%.

We need to be as conscientious about the end life of our products as we are about choosing them.

We need to push for a Green New Deal, and demand that legislators reject money from fossil fuels.

Yes, we’ll have to make an effort to reduce our impact.

Instead of talking about “green”, let’s be intentional with our language and actions, focusing on: sustainable, ethical, nontoxic, or the “moral” thing to do.

In 2019, let’s cut the cute “green” sentiment and get down to business.

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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