Generations Differ in Views on Going Green
My Mom and I were talking about recycling a few days ago. I was trying to convince her that it is very easy to sort recyclables from the stuff that goes to the curb, blah, blah, blah- my usual tirade of how simple it is to do something for the environment. She does not relish the notion of ‘washing her garbage’, nor paying an extra fee to have it picked up from her curb. To me, it seems going green may appear too troublesome to bother with (for her).
A self proclaimed ‘heat-packing, fur-wearing Texas Republican’ had a very good point to make- there is a big difference in how our Baby Boomer parents view environmental issues and how our thirty-ish generation is starting to take it seriously. (She thinks I can make up for her giant carbon footprint…) I have tried to think about what my parents have grown up with. They were the first generation to grow up with the TV dinner. The computer. The microwave. Everything our generation takes for granted about convenience, they grew with or invented. They taught us to make things faster, smaller, and more powerful (these have become extremely valuable, and in some cases, it can be considered green). Changing your lifestyle in your mid-fifties is not easy, I would imagine, especially for those who live life with a strong notion for ease and convenience.
How do we make this more user-friendly, specifically for our parents’ generation? ‘Green’ is an entire lifestyle change, and there is nothing simple about that. For the average American, it is a slow evolution and it takes time. It can touch every aspect of our lives, from garbage to furniture to nail polish. There is no simple answer to this question.
So I think I won’t worry too much about trying to make my parents green. Their generation has given us so many fantastic things that we really couldn’t live without. (Come on- you know you would freak out if you couldn’t use your cell phone for one day!) Just like every new generation, we take what our parents give us, try to make it a little bit better, and pass that knowledge on to our children. I’ll take what I know and try to be responsible with it. If green is something that really will be as mainstream as many say it will, it will take time to get it there.