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Green Living Certification
Chapter 1 - Green Living Certification Program
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1.2 Introduction

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew."

- Marshall McLuhan, 1964

It's natural these days to feel some guilt. You're not recycling enough, not composting enough, flushing the toilet too often. You shouldn't drive to work and you shouldn't use either paper or plastic at the grocery store. There's guilt everywhere and it can make you feel powerless to do anything at all.

The good news is that we can all do something. We can all - through daily, simple actions and choices - help to make this world a better place to be.

Does that sound a little Pollyanna to you? It should. Because while the world environmental situation is at nearly critical stages, there is much each of us can do to help mitigate some of the problems. We CAN make the world a better place. And we should do the work necessary because this is no longer a problem for future generations to deal with. This is now.

"Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find."

- Quoted in Time

The good news is that much of the damage we have done to the Earth is reversible. We can restore habitats, plant trees, reduce pollution. We can't restore the ozone layer, but only preserve it. We can make this world a better place for future generations - we can ensure that there is a solid and livable planet for future generations, in fact.

The issues have become so important, so impactful, that the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 was awarded to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC). It wasn't for any mitigating work they did to educate people about these global issues.

According to the Nobel Foundation, they were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.

"If we did not take action to solve this crisis, it could indeed threaten the future of human civilization. That sounds shrill. It sounds hard to accept. I believe it's deadly accurate. But again, we can solve it."

- Al Gore

This course isn't going to get you a job, or a new boyfriend, or a new house. It's not designed to help you make more money, entertain your friends and neighbors. Its mission, quite simply, is to ensure that you help to ensure the Earth stays healthy and safe. It's not too late.

Perhaps most important, this course can help you understand that the simple actions you choose each and every day can be changed so that those simple actions can have huge impacts. Do the same impactful things each day and you will know that you can make a difference. If we get even 1,000 people to also make impactful changes each day, think of how the Earth will benefit.

Your grandchildren will likely find it incredible - or even sinful - that you burned up a gallon of gasoline to fetch a pack of cigarettes!

- Paul MacCready, Jr.

So what is this course all about? It's about being "Green", a term often bandied about these days. Being green can take many forms, and range from the simple (recycle everything you can) to the more complicated (buy a hybrid car, go vegetarian). You can pick and choose to do the things that meet your personal comfort level. Someone else might pick differently.

This is about getting rid of the guilt. If you are making changes and doing your best for the planet, there should be no guilt involved. But not doing anything is worse than being ambivalent; it's not being willing to give back to the Earth what she has given us. We are, literally, all in this together.

But education is essential. You might want to make changes, but are unsure about what to do. You might be truly committed to living a more Green life, but might not know how to really make that happen. You might pledge to live Green, but know that organic sheets and bamboo floors aren't in your future. Trust us, the planet has a place for you in this global effort to make things better.


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 By: RAYMUNDA on Apr 8, 2008
 By: randumb on Aug 12, 2008
  Umm....What did he just say?
 By: Melonie on Sep 4, 2008
  So far, so good, on the basics. I hope that this will delve further into things like driving *habits*, not just *what* one drives. There are ways to reduce our footprint no matter what we drive, such as working from home, consolidating errands, etc. I used to drive a Ford Expedition but worked from home and used about one tank of gas a MONTH, as opposed to someone who'd have a commute of 15 or 30 miles each way per day. We can make lots of changes and still have luxuries - it's about smart choices and education.
 By: Expertrating on Aug 9, 2009
  Green living course ...great really nice
 By: Anthony on Mar 14, 2010
  Yup.. i agree with Melonie.. its more about changing our habits.. a small change towards the positive side will go a long way into the future. I feel courses such as these should me more freely circulated. I'm gonna post a link on my social network.. I hope more and more people read, learn and understand the effects of their behaviour.
    By: Mr. Dana on Mar 17, 2019
  I agree, too. The intro is thought-provoking.
 By: Jessica on Jan 12, 2022
  People are lazy it’s wasteful and it’s costly so what’s the problem,

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