green newb's journey from red to green

Submitted by sproutnewb on Tue, 2011-02-15 12:28

Going green?
If you asked me to “go green” less than three years ago I would have assumed you wanted to witness the wrath of my jealousy or my dramatic impersonation of the Incredible Hulk! Fortunately, I am (slightly) more informed than the Debbie of the near past and I’ve started to realise that being “green” is so much more than an emotional state or a super hero’s power. While the phrase “going green” and all it entails is the subject of much deliberation, going green to me (in a nutshell) involves an awareness and concern for two of our most special assets: the natural environment and our own health...but then again, what do I know?

Confession: I am a green newb!
While it might seem that I have been enlightened about what being green means I have noticed that the more I learn the more I realise how little I know so I am proud to say that I am a green newb.

Definition of newb: noun, often attributive ’nüb: slang term for newcomer, especially a newcomer to cyberspace. Contrary to popular belief, a newb and a n00b are not the same thing, as a newb can and will get better where as a n00b will partake in activities mainly to aggravate and annoy other participants.

While these terms are most commonly used in cyberspace (specifically online gaming and forums) I thought that this association was also relevant since I am also a newb in the blogging world.

About this blog
This blog is my attempt to understand, record and share my process of going green and I am in a lucky position to do so as a newly appointed intern at urban sprout . With Wanda and Glen as my personal Green Guru’s I will be exploring and experimenting with a variety of green initiatives and documenting my experiences so that those of you who would like to make this lifestyle change can learn from my mistakes (life is too short to make all the mistakes yourself after all).

Why do this?
This seems like an enormous task but I feel like this is something I need to do. The reason I have called this post “From red to green” is because it is a simple way of describing the journey I am about to embark on. Let me explain: If being green is my goal then the beginning of my journey is at the opposite side of the spectrum, i.e. the red zone. I call it the red zone not only because red is the opposite of green but also because red denotes danger and I feel that the environment and my health is in danger.

During the past 6 years of my life as a student I, like so many other people to witness the rise of what I call the Immediate-Gratification Generation, have fallen slave to quick fixes and unhealthy habits. Over the past six years I have lived off mass produced (and often fast) foods without considering where they come from and how they are produced. I have lived through modern and exciting technologies (computers, ipods, cellphones, cars, microwaves etc) without considering the effects it has had on my health and natural environment. I have overindulged in unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking and overeating and when I finally realised that my health was in danger I began to look to artificial quick fixes for a solution only to end up worse than before. This is when I realised that I was in dire need of a lifestyle change.

My life was governed by the quest for immediate gratification (like so many others) and it left me unhealthy, uninformed and (quite ironically) unsatisfied. What makes matters worse was, in abusing my health, I was also abusing the environment. I realised that in order to change all of this I needed to change my mind set and in order to change my mindset I had to find the source of it.

I began to think about where we as humans may have gone wrong and it brought me to the industrial revolution. While the industrial revolution brought us great innovative machinery that could make masses of goods to make the lives of people more comfortable it also gave us a mindset that wanted something easier within minutes of thinking of it. People did not have to walk to work because they now had cars! People did not have to prepare food from fresh products because they had freezers! People did not have to wait for plants to grow because they could speed up the process through artificial stimulants! People did not have to wait for things to take their natural course because there was a cheap and easy quick fix for everything and not much has changed since then.

For the first time in human history diseases like obesity and cancer are common causes of death. The shocking thing about this fact is that obesity and cancer are often the result of overindulgent and unhealthy habits, which is to say that they are often self-inflicted! The human race is killing itself not only through unhealthy habits that detriment our individual lives but also through unhealthy habits that affect our environment and will affect not only the lives of all humans today but all of them to come. This is why I say I feel I need to embark on this journey.

My journey (going from red to green) not only entails travelling towards a healthier and more environmentally aware lifestyle but it is also an important exercise to regain patience and appreciate the goodness of certain things that can only be a result of taking time. Going green is not just a diet or household system but it is also a solution to the problems we face as human race.

I hope you enjoy my learning experience as much as I am going to. Watch this space - I'll be blogging as I travel.

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