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What does it mean to ‘go green’? Why do we do it? Where does the idea come from? When you stop and think about it, are we really worried about saving the planet? Is our focus in the right place? If we’re having this big of a negative impact on the atmosphere, wouldn’t the world be a better off place without us? You know, the people causing the harm in the first place.

I read an article recently entitled ‘The Big Misunderstanding: Why We Don’t Need to Save the Planet’ – in it, the author talks about this exact idea that going green isn’t about saving the planet, it’s about saving ourselves.

Take a step back and look at the overall big picture – when we talk about recycling, conserving energy, or using water wisely, it can be an extremely daunting task. It’s almost too big of a concept to comprehend – and it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that even though you’re doing your part, there are a million others who don’t and never will. We are a society that wants to see clear results of their actions, the fruits of our labor,  and when it comes to saving the planet, your impact matters, it starts with the individual, but changing the world can never be done alone.

Maybe, just maybe, if we stop and think about changing our habits to save ourselves, to save our children and grandchildren – maybe the impact would be greater; the ideas may hit closer to home. It’s easy for folks to say, ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ – to those people I say, ‘the worst that could happen is the complete and utter destruction of the entire human race!’ Ok, a little extreme perhaps, but putting things into perspective and encouraging small changes can be a little easier when people know that in the end, they’re doing it for themselves.

The planet will be just fine without us, but we can’t survive without the Earth. Think about that time next time you take a one-hour shower, shave with the water running, or leave the faucet on while your hand-washing your dishes. Think about going green (which includes using water wisely) not in order to save the planet, but to save yourself and your future. I don’t know about you, but I like this planet and I want to call it home for a long, long time.

Blurb About Me: Matt Cheuvront is the architect, author, and overseer of Life Without Pants. Favorite water-saving tip: Install a garbage disposal in your shower and cook as you bathe, Kramer style.

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