It's Not Easy Being Green · 20 July 2007

I must really like the color green. Both our current and previous houses are green. I drive a green car. I have lived in or around Seattle, The Emerald City, for over 20 years. Even one of my favorite actors, Kermit The Frog, is green. But sometimes I forget how green things really are and what being green can really mean.

For much of the school year, I drive to work in the dark. Besides the headlights of other commuters, I do not see anything but black. When daylight savings time comes and my morning drive down Highway 203 from Monroe to Duvall is finally in the light, I am amazed at how green everything is. More than that, I am amazed at how many different shades of green there are. Even though the sun does not really shine onto the highway until later in the day, my drive is light enough to see millions of different shades of green. The deep greens and yellow greens and blue greens do not even start to describe the different greens that I see. It amazes me that there are millions of colors that could be called green instead of just one. What is even more amazing is that more people than just Kermit The Frog are lamenting about how hard it is to be green.

Today, green is more than just millions of different shades of a basic color. Green is a lifestyle, a design philosophy, a choice. When people choose to be green, they are choosing to live in such a way as to harm the environment as little as possible. They are choosing to recycle. They are choosing to buy merchandise that at least claims to be produced in ways that do not harm the environment very much. Or at least not in obvious ways. People who choose to live green are trying to live in harmony with the environment rather than fight against it or make it succumb to their will.

I would like to live a green life, not just in the color of houses I choose, but in the life I live. I would like to always buy products that do not harm the environment but in many ways that is not possible. Every product we buy uses some sort of resource that must be mined or logged or otherwise taken from the earth. We can not harness the power of the sun, gravity, or wind without these products either. There is a cost to the environment in everything we do which makes it tough to even try to be green.

While it might seem hopeless to try to live green, we can all do our part in some small ways. We can recycle. We can buy products from those manufacturers who do their best to impact the environment as little as possible. And we can debunk claims of free power of any kind. Everything we do has some cost to the environment in which we live. If we want to live green, we need to try to live in as much harmony with the earth as we can.

When I originally started this column almost a month ago, it was just going to be a comment on the color green. But perhaps only an artist could write a few hundred words or more about a color. I really do like green. I like the color of my house and I like to view the colors of the trees as I drive to work each day. And if we can all choose to live a little more green than we did in the last century, maybe we can keep enjoying the color green for many more centuries. It really is not easy being green but I am sure it is worth it to try.

© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published 17 July 2007 in The Monroe Monitor & Valley News



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