Editor’s Note: Don Macanlalay is our newest regular contributor to Planet Change. When not working for The Nature Conservancy, Don is a sustainable designer from Washington, D.C. He likes miniature things, polaroids, earth tones, the country of Canada, biking and slow food. Follow Don on twitter @thatdonmac.
I recently read a report claiming that “young people aren’t so ‘green’ after all.” After reading it, I felt mildly insulted for a second, and then I thought, “hmm, could they be right?”
I work at the headquarters of The Nature Conservancy, so my cubicle doesn’t stimulate too much inspiration for actually thinking about the environment. This report got me to thinking: Am I really green?
Things I did today:
- Brush my teeth
- Find my phone
- Take out the trash
- Drive to work
- Stare into the abyss of my Outlook inbox
- Get a glass of water
- Go to a meeting
- Media tracking
I regret nothing.
Well, maybe the Facebook.
Yeah, I regret that.
I thought about my day and couldn’t find an instance where the environment was in my day-to-day (besides well, working for an environmental organization). I mean, don’t get me wrong; years ago, fresh out of college, I was so ready to be the change.
I’m not naïve anymore. I’m 28, I know my twenties are fading and that they are a luxury that I’m trying to enjoy before I begin to miss it. I feel that my generation is green, but we just want things instantly, especially solutions. The fact that my generation is supposed to be the savior for the planet is pretty daunting to think about when you want change through traditional modes like the government.
We might be growing disenchanted with affecting change on a global level, but when it comes to being green on a personal level, many of my friends and I are green.
We ride our bikes, compost, plant organic gardens, purchase ethical pieces of clothing, support local businesses (drink local beer), and dream of one day owning (or making) sustainable architecture. Before our 20’s, we were for the most part taken care of by our parents. Most of us didn’t have the option to make our own decisions. It felt like we were merely living a life that someone else set out for us.
Now in our twenties, we’re allowed the time to make the life that we want for ourselves, on our own terms. Being your own boss is a little daunting, but it’s a freeing experience. For the first time, I can decide I want to change something because I simply want to.
We want to care because we feel like we want to, not because we feel like we have to. Let’s face it; being twenty-something, I’m growing up in the age of a seriously changing planet. It’s out my window, on my tv, and on my twitter feed, so of course I care. But, it feels overwhelming, like my final master’s thesis I’ll be presenting this year.
My goal of this blog is to find people and ideas that prove that – for my generation – although it may not always look like we’re being green, that doesn’t mean we aren’t.
Don Macanlalay is a communications professional at The Nature Conservancy
Photo at top: provided by Erika Nortemann, The Nature Conservancy
Slideshow photo: provided by Don Macanlalay
Trackback from your site.