Green Goes Mainstream
> “Green is the new red, white, and blue.”
Environmental concern, once a narrow niche in public consciousness, is rapidly evolving into an organizing principle for a new economy. The terminology used to discuss this transition is shifting rapidly as the field expands. A new vocabulary is emerging to accompany this growing movement (like LOHAS, people who live lifestyles of health and sustainability), but the meaning of each new term, like eco-friendly or sustainability, seems to change with the user. One study found over sixty different definitions of sustainability. One thing is certain: The primary shade of this new lexicon is green. The burgeoning “green economy” is fueled by “green capital,” powered by “green technology,” and staffed by “green-collar” jobs. Green is the color of the coolest cars (hybrids), the coolest clothes (hemp and bamboo), and the coolest actors (Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, and Robert Redford). Formerly, “green” was associated with back-to-the-land hippies, sacrifice, deprivation, and second-best or inferior quality, but no more. Green is definitely in.
There is no standard definition for the “green” that’s being tossed about in the media (a Google search for the term as it relates to the environment produces some 400 million hits). Right now, it can mean whatever a person, corporation, or nonprofit wants it to mean, leaving it up to the consumer to interpret. But generically, and traditionally, it has described something that has a benign or moderate effect on the environment. By extension, green jobs, or green-collar jobs, are those connected to eco-friendly products