Nowadays, there has been a growing awareness of the environmental degradation that the current and future generations are facing. The attention was so great that environmentalists named it as the biggest issue in 1990. Suddenly, the environmental problems were everywhere where people looked. For instance, chemically treated and genetically modified food, water with toxic chemicals, and depleting resources were not even a half of the problems that have spurred millions to Go Green.
This paper comprises several sections. Each of these sections examines a particular topic that relates to the environmentalism. In a complex, these issues create a full picture of the reasonability of green movements. In addition, there is the research on differences between organic and conventional farms, and analysis of whether people can truly reduce their carbon footprint. Thus, the main purpose of the paper is to explore the peculiarities of the Going Green phenomenon and investigate all the aspects of this subject.
Going Green History
Going Green is an initiative that includes the activities necessary for saving the environment. For example, it may involve some simple tasks such as the use of reusable bags while shopping to prevent wasting plastic bags. However, in reality, this concept covers a much wider meaning. The roots of the green movement derive from a deep philosophy and ideology that is called environmentalism. It is a system of beliefs that determines the values of different environmental attributes and always seeks to protect or preserve the points that are crucial to humans. Unfortunately, the history of the green movements has been going slow and is full of controversy. Thus, the late 1960s and 1970s saw the rise of the modern green movement. However, environmentalism was always viewed as some kind of extremist tree-hugging hippies. In spite of such treatment, the movement has been continuously pushed forward by horrible nature tragedies that caused death and destruction in all global communities.
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Nowadays, many people perceive the Going Green statement as an actual lifestyle, affecting all the aspects of life. For example, to go green in a food sphere means to implement the adjustments to the diet. All these changes imply consuming food products that are organic. Organic food (farm fresh) is poison-free food, organic water is pure, fresh water and organic seeds are free of contaminants. Moreover, organic foods are not refined by using radiation or biological adjuncts. Generally, the scientists support the perception that organic farming system is more environmentally friendly than a conventional one. For instance, the organic farming methods consistently have a greater soil carbon level, better soil quality, and less soil erosion compared with traditional approaches. Organic farming is usually more energy efficient than the conventional counterpart. The organic food and agriculture, in general, can be determined by its financial performance. The analysis presents the results of 40 years of studies covering 55 crops grown on five continents. The results show that organic agriculture is more profitable, having from 22 to 35 percent greater net values than common farms. However, at the same time, it has higher cost ratios, from 20 to 24 percent, than the conventional agriculture. The scientists consider that organic farming alone is incapable of feeding the world population. In central Europe, the results from 21-year study of farming sector found that crop yields to be 20 percent lower in organic systems. Furthermore, there is a small amount of evidence to show that organic food is better in quality than conventional food. Considering all things, the organic farming and food have a small global and monetary benefit for the world as the positive effect of such products is not proved for sure.
Renewable energy such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass provides substantial benefits for the climate and peoples health. For instance, natural gas emits between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour, and coal is associated with the emission of 1.4-3.6 pounds. By contrast, winds emits only 0.2 pounds, solar 0.7 pounds, geothermal and hydroelectric 0.1 pounds (Union of Concerned Scientists [UCS]). From a financing side, a renewable energy source is more labor intensive. In 2011, it supported 75 000 full-time employees. Furthermore, the Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS) has predicted that renewable sources would lead to 4.1 percent lower natural gas prices and 7.6 percent lower electricity cost by 2030. In general, the benefits of renewable energy sources are more visible than of organic food. Generating electricity from renewable sources offers significant public health benefits. In addition, renewable sources operate with free fuel; that is why, it has more stable and lower prices, while the fossil fuel costs can vary dramatically (UCS).
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
In 1970, the green movement created the slogan, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In 2012, Americans generated about 251 million tons of waste and recycled almost 87 million tons of it. All these attempts have a purpose of reducing the peoples carbon footprint. First of all, a carbon footprint is a measure of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. The increasing interest in the phenomenon relates to growing public awareness of global warming. The world community now recognizes the need to reduce GHG emission to prevent climate change. The huge amount of the greenhouse gas emission (42%) is a result of the way people in the U.S. produce, deliver, and dispose of goods. In other words, the waste reduction and recycling are powerful tools to reduce GHG emission as it can save more than 2,400 pounds of GHG emission per year. The latest news shows that the percentage of climate change reduced up to 70 percent in 2009 and continues to plummet. Nowadays, the average single family household in the U.S. produces about 12 metric tons of GHG emission per year. The study of the professor Paul Murtaugh from the Oregon state in 2009 had an important conclusion. If an adult made all the necessary lifestyle changes, such as buying a car with 50 percent better gas mileage, driving 33 percent less, switching the energy-efficient bulbs, replacing old refrigerator, and recycling household trash, he or she would reduce the GHG emission by 486 metric tons over the lifetime. In comparison, having one less child can save 20 times more of the greenhouse gas emission in a lifetime. Dr. Alexander Nathanson states in his article, going green is hardly enough. In addition to green living driving less, recycling more and using energy-efficient, eco-friendly products we also need to consider a more complicated, less talked about subject: family planning and population growth control.
In the 21st century, the environmental protection has become vital for the future of the planet. People can see eco-friendly practices becoming more and more routine in everyday households. Undoubtedly, such attitude is strengthened by the Going Green movement that encourages people to use environmentally safe products in order to slow climate changes. Organic food typically requires less energy during the production, but it gives fewer crops than conventional farms. The renewable energy sources and waste reduction also makes an investment in the reduction of GHG emission. In general, it is impossible to give the positive or negative answer to the questions whether the Going Green can save the planet or it is just hype. The fact is that for now all peoples attempts are simply insufficient to reverse anything in the light of the rapid climate changes. However, people should not stop and should continue the regular green practices. Environmentalism has appeared to be not as effective as humans initially believed but still the green movement has its positive impact on the planet in general. Therefore, people must understand that environmental problems, such as an amount of greenhouse gas emission, raise another important question of overpopulation that requires the further scientists investigations.