Earth Day, 2009 has passed. The popularity of the organic lifestyle or green living has traveled far and has reached international proportions. However, are we missing a major green component?
The green lifestyle has become a new way of life for politicians, celebrities and consumers. In fact, support for protecting our climate and environment has become an international bandwagon that continues traveling throughout the US and the world.
As a result of increased green product sales and strong media support, the green bandwagon continues to tour our planet. However, the definition of green living has been revised for several years by green industry organizations to include social responsibility. Many of us are unaware that green living is connected to social responsibility, yet the green bandwagon continues its journey past Earth Day 2009 with much of the public uninformed.
Where did this concept of social responsibility come from? How do we define and describe it? How do we apply it in the course of our daily lives? Although they are both commendable, what is the real connection between social responsibility and our environment in the first place? As we answer these questions and remove the familiar green wrapping, we’ll find the spiritual soul of the green movement.
Every green company that submits a membership application to Green America must provide evidence of meeting standards of environmental and social responsibility. If they pass this screening process, they become a member of the “Green Business Network” and receive the prestigious Green America “Seal of Approval for People and Planet”. This level of commitment for “people and planet” is recognized by the green industry and by knowledgeable green consumers searching for a reliable green company.
The concept of “green social responsibility” evolved from organizations that support the green industry and the public. They include the Organic Trade Association (www.ota.com), Green America (www.coopamerica.org) and several others. These organizations provide a great deal of consumer information through online resources such as the “Organic Pages Online” the “O’Mama Report” (OTA), “The National Green Pages” and “The Green American” (Green America).
Social responsibility can apply to social justice, including fair wages and working conditions. It is best defined as our willingness to “assume responsibility for others”. In addition to supporting workers, this phrase frequently refers to “charitable giving”. Charity implies deeds of compassion such as volunteering in a soup kitchen, donating financial support for environmental preservation or simply providing a few words of encouragement to someone in need.
Why are many people and the media unaware that green speaks to social responsibility? Despite the efforts to inform consumers by the organizations mentioned earlier, it appears the message is not being received. Perhaps part of the problem is that many hear the message but don’t see the connection between the two.
So what is the connection between social responsibility and a green lifestyle. The answer relates to who we are and how we set our priorities. Are we willing to sacrifice our personal needs for the sake of helping the environment or others in need? This is the essence of a green lifestyle. Green living connects with social responsibility because they both develop from the same source regarding right and wrong.
A green or greener lifestyle is based on deeds or acts of compassion towards our planet and its inhabitants. Our thoughts and feelings govern our deeds and actions. When our thoughts are positive it leads to feelings of compassion, hope, and courage. What is the source for our thoughts and feelings? They all come from our spirit. A positive spirit is the soul of the green movement. It generates our conscience about right and wrong and drives us to make personal sacrifices for what we believe is right. It is the source of our concern about the environment and others in need. It allows us to give of ourselves and minimize our own needs. It provides us with compassion for our planet and enables us to assume responsibility for other “passengers on spaceship Earth”.
Bob Folkart is Vice-President of Live Life Organics, a company focused on inspiring a positive lifestyle encouraging personal triumph and responsibility for our planet and fellow man. They provide positive messages on their organic apparel, such as “Be Compassionate…True Beauty, promoting positive thinking and a committment to the Earth and its inhabitants. Additionally, every article of their eco-friendly, organc cotton clothing carries a hangtag that can be planted in the earth to recycle and grow into wildflowers celebrating the environment and the beauty of life on Earth. Live life Organics is Green America Approved providing 100% organic cotton apparel using water based inks and low impact dyes. To view these organic products, go to:
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