Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Think Green. It's St Patrick's Day

Green means something different today than it did when I was younger. Green used to be a color – or many colors. Kelly green. Pea green. Avocado green – which was the color of the appliances in our first apartment. Green was the color of grass, artificial turf – and money. Green was the color of immigrants and Kermit the Frog, who told us it’s not easy being green. The immigrants would probably have agreed.

Today being green isn’t just a color, it’s a movement. Green is in. Despite what Elphaba might say, every print and e-zine tells us that green is good – and it is easy to be green. The term The Greening of America actually originated with the book by that title by Charles A. Reich in the early 1970’s. Then it was considered counterculture. Today it is chic.

I have no problem with that. Green is good, but I think the term is also becoming a bit trite. What does it mean to be “green”? Everything from detergent to coffee is green. Schools, office building, cars, clothing, cosmetics, even dog food is hyped as being “green”. Maybe some marketing types who are paid the big bucks to be clever could come up with a catchy phrase to express our concern for planet earth.

But then again, maybe green does say it all, and I shouldn’t fight it. And especially not today. Today everything wants to be green – including these daffodils, poking up through the winter brown. How many years has it been since St Patrick’s Day in Wisconsin has had sunshine, blue skies and temperatures over 70 degrees?

Hurrah. Spring is coming. Happy St Patrick’s Day.

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