Are you living in your own green bubble of sorts, where it is easy to think that everyone else “gets it” and is doing their best to help keep the planet clean? I know I find myself there quite often because so much of my life revolves around my green blogging friends, books I read, this blog I write daily, and my general axiom that most people act sustainably because it’s the “right thing to do”. However, that’s not the case a lot of the time out there in the real world. I have good friends who haven’t made the switch to a safer laundry detergent, family members who still use bleach to clean, and neighbors who commute by themselves in government-sized vehicles. Driving to California a few weeks ago, I was reminded that most people in LA still sit in gridlock by themselves in their cars. People love their McMansions, their garages full of power boats and 4-wheelers, and eating fast food for lunch every day. Getting out of the bubble reminds me that not everyone, not even the majority, think like we do about being green and trying to live a sustainable lifestyle. So how do we continue working to clean up the planet and our behavior while also getting outside of our self-imposed (not purposefully, I am guessing) green bubble we live in?
My friends on Twitter are mostly fellow greens. My friends on Facebook are as well. Most of my friends in real life also try to consider the environment when purchasing products or making lifestyle decisions. Is it any wonder that I truly believe that most people are the same when I surround myself with like-minded spirits? Are we, by talking about all this greenness amongst ourselves, just preaching to the choir? How can we get this message out to those people who aren’t necessarily inundated with it every day anyway without being disagreeable about it? We so often live in our own created bubble that we miss seeing how everyone else lives.
I guess it’s the same as we forget how others live until we are confronted with the crushing poverty in Haiti when an earthquake destroys the country. We don’t live in that bubble of poverty – so it’s easy to focus on ourselves and our own concerns and miss what those outside our world are dealing with. Unfortunately, the health of the planet affects everyone, poor and wealthy alike, so it’s important that we all try to do our part and work for the benefit of all. And thus why it’s very important to get out of the green bubble we all stay in the majority of the time…to get out there…to listen to different opinions. Try to understand why some choices are made. Try to suggest some safer alternatives. Don’t berate. Use discretion.
You never know what you may learn, whose life you may change, or whose life may change yours.
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