My original goal in college was to major in environmental science. At the time, being green was the “thing”—a real movement. We wore T-shirts that said, “Recycle, Reuse or Refuse” and similar slogans. Recycling took effort—not everyone did it back then. I was on the bandwagon, preaching to everyone I knew, attending Earth Day celebrations and ready to ride the movement to the planet’s rescue.
Unfortunately, soon I realized majoring in environmental science required a huge number of math and science credits. I’m a word girl, not a math/science girl, so I decided to major in writing instead. But I’ve continued to live green as a lifelong vegetarian, driving low-emission vehicles, recycling and reusing. Not long after my college years, cities began offering curbside recycling, and it became something everyone could easily do. Many of the things that were battle cries back in the day are now standard practice.
But what happened to the green movement since? Why did it lose its momentum instead of promoting new rally cries (like solar and wind power, rainwater catchment and electric vehicles) to help take us all to the next level? Sure, there are many people devoted to living green, but it’s now more of an individual decision than a movement with passionate protestors and advocates working to create massive change and awareness. While most people do now recycle thanks to the grassroots movement I saw in my youth, we’ve slipped back in other areas. The Harris Poll has been tracking Americans and their green tendencies since the summer of 2009. The 2012 study reports a decline in the number of Americans reusing things, a decline in individual efforts to use less water, and a decline in the purchasing of all-natural and organic products. The poll also reports that fewer Americans describe themselves as environmentally conscious. “Most significantly, in 2012, only about one in three U.S. adults say they are concerned about the planet we are leaving behind for future generations—an almost 10 percentage point decrease since 2009,” the report states.
Clearly the green movement has lost some of its fervor, and a new bandwagon needs to be rolled out for everyone to jump on.
Luckily, many Laguna families are already going the extra mile to teach their children the way. In our first green and family issue, we highlight some of the things these families are doing to reduce their impact on the planet. We also spotlight a few of the town’s greenest vehicles and more.
So light up your solar-powered LED bulb and enjoy this issue of Laguna Beach Magazine.
Micaela Myers, Group Editor