Does it drive you insane when a company says they are “going green?” Do you even believe most companies when they make these claims? If you answer yes to the first and no to the second question, you aren’t alone. Each year, Lake Superior State University accepts nominations for words people want to banish in the new year. Submissions are accepted on their website. On the top of 2009’s list? The word “green.”
Maybe Kermit was right – being green really isn’t easy.
So how are we to grapple with this situation? Do we remove the word entirely from our vernacular when speaking of our environmentally responsible actions? Is that even really possible? Can we really not use such catch phrases as “going green,” “green your life,” or dare I say it… “Be Green Minded?” Those of us who are aiming to change our lives (slowly or overnight!) want our actions to speak as loud as our words but we also want our words to be heard by the not yet eco-converted. But if terms like “green” will no longer be heard by the public because of its gross overuse, what else can we say?
Not to be outdone however, other eco-chic words like carbon footprint and carbon offsetting are on the 2009 list of words to banish as well. Overuse and likely the lack of understanding lead the rally to move away from terms like carbon footprint and carbon offsetting. These words, however, really help quantify the impact we have on the environment as well as how much we reduce our impact through changes in our actions. Most of the public needs clear results in order to be compelled to act and these phrases help with just that.
BeGreenMinded wants to hear from you. What do you think about these results and the language used to describe environmentally responsible actions. Have you too grown tired of words like “green” and “carbon footprint?” Let us know in the comments below.