Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I promised another post, offering some common ground for the green community that Green Bean and Arduous would like to build, and I owe them that much, after side tracking the conversation yesterday. Here's what I'm thinking:

1.Let's all brainstorm a good name for this group. I actually like APLS (Affluent People Living Sustainably). I remember when that discussion started, there were some suggestions that were a little pretentious, and I was kind of cringing until Green Bean's husband thought of APLS. It didn't have any words in it that could be misconstrued as belittling others, and that's why I like it. We need a name something like APLS.

2.Better steer clear of "church". All Christians are taught that the church represents Christ's physical presence here on earth. It's going to be very tough to avoid offending a large segment of the the US population if you use the word church.

3.Let's also assume that there are good people in both political parties that care about the environment, even if they disagree on the war, abortion, gay marriage, or the graduated tax ( and about 500 other things). So let's make sure this remains focused and doesn't gather weird accretions that will cause people to run the other way. Red, blue, or purple, we all breathe the air, drink the water, try to find healthy food, and don't want our coastal cities to flood. Wouldn't it be refreshing to get past the political stuff and actually accomplish something!

So, comments and ideas are welcome here, or I'm sure at either of the other two blogs. You are a very creative bunch, so I'm sure we can come up with something terrific! And all you lurkers, too- I know you're out there, so de-lurk and help us. The more voices on this the better.


CindyW said...

I like the idea of green movement being independent of religion or political views. My personal data have pointed to the total non-correlation of environmental views and religious beliefs. Political affiliations and environmental perspectives are more correlated. However there is no reason that we should exclude one party or another.

It's all about appealing to people to create a better life for themselves, their children and living creatures around them.

I have no doubt that the implimentation of "creating a better life" will get hairy. People have different view of what a better life is, but virtually everyone will agree that being healthy is an important element of a better life. How we make environmental healthiness as another universal acknowledge factor for a better life is a worth fighting challenge.

Joyce said...

I just kind of came to the word Resposibility- something about the future of the planet and generations? It's still a little foggy. That might fit with your creating a better life idea, Cyndy. Hmm.

Joyce said...

Ooops-that's "responsibility".

Heather said...

Cindy, I also like the idea of an independent green movement. People have a myriad of factors motivating them to be green- spirituality, conscience, responsibility to future generations (as Joyce offered), or economy, just to name a few. To affiliate a movement solely with any of these factors will be divisive, not inclusive.

Here's something to consider: one of the most divisive factors I can think of concerning the green movement itself is SCOPE. HOW green are people? Are they GREEN ENOUGH to join in this group? What if they're just your typical American consumers who are trying to make greener purchases, like CFLs and hybrid cars? Is "light green" allowed? What if they're interested in being green only because green is "cool" right now?

Not trying to cause trouble, just food for thought.


Joyce said...

Heather-I know what you mean by trying to avoid the "greener than thou" kind of situation, and at the same time define the motive. A high school boy I know has started to drive more sensibly, not because he cares about the pollution he produces, but because getting better mileage makes his allowance go further. On the other hand, we all have to start some place. My hunch is the people who aren't really very invested philosophically will drop out pretty quickly. Or get converted (oops- church-y word!).

arduous said...

I'm not entirely sure we even need a name though names are always nice. I think we discuss the church as a model, but we don't need to. We can instead, simply talk about the green social movement.

I completely agree though that we need to assume that there are good people in both political parties ... hell, there are plenty of people in this country who are just sick and tired of their vegetables being recalled. The more inclusive we are, the better.

Joyce said...

Arduous, sort of like the Whiskey Rebellion, only it would be the Great Tomato Recall Rebellion. Historical times! Our grandchildren will read about it in US History class!
Your right, though. It doesn't really need a name (or a cute button to put on our blog pages). It just needs to be uniting and inclusive.

Green Bean said...

I agree with Arduous and, Joyce, your last post. I love the idea of the cute button and name. Heck, I adore those little things but, for me, this is more of a movement, something we apply to all the clubs in which we are involved and a spark to start up new clubs. I'm trying to make my book club more inviting and fun and also am going to work on my city's green task force to do the same.

As to be inclusive, I think a lot of us are tired of political divisions. For the most part, we have more in common than we have differences. Basically every one wants a better world for their families, food that is safe to eat, water that is safe to drink. We just need to enlist others to join us to make these changes and that recruitment must focus on the positive not the negative.

I agree, too, that we should avoid the word Church. That word doesn't work for Christians for the reasons you point out and I was surprised by the number of non-Christians who commented on my post that they did not feel comfortable with that term either. Let us talk about the movement for positive change, for community building.

Great discussion, Joyce. I was glad to see you keep it going here.

Joyce said...

Green Bean, I think you are right to avoid the name idea, as much as I love the "Meeting of the Minds" (maybe I'll just use that in my own mind when I'm thinking about things).
I live in a purple state, where your next door neighbor is as likely to belong to one party as another, as likely to go to church as not, and we really have to learn how to avoid confrontation and find common ground a lot on the personal level, so all the strident political stuff is kind of off-putting to me. That being said, as Cyndy pointed out, any changes beyond personal ones often require some kind of interaction with government, and folks will have to work within the party of their choice to move some of those things along. It's kind of obvious, though, that our country is almost evenly divided beween the two parties, so we might as well set those differences aside when working on climate change issues.
My dad was involved in local politics, and the example he and the others on the city council set for me was such a good one. They could debate and debate in the council chambers (civilly), and then all go out for ice cream together after the meeting, and you'd never know they'd differed at all. He always told us not to let political differences get in the way of friendships, and that we all want the same things, we just have different philosophies on how to make them happen. So that's where I'm coming from.
I put this post up just to get people brainstorming and thinking, but you are the one who got all this rolling. It should be interesting to see how it plays out. I'm hope for unity of purpose, even with diversity of approaches to problems.

eco 'burban mom said...

I like the idea of a name, a button or some kind of logo. Maybe it's just a girlish need to belong to a "club"? ;o)

For me, finding all of your bloggers who feel the same way I do about the enviroment, our families and our health makes me feel like less of a minority. Is it strange that I feel like a discriminated group?? My kids get teased at school (middle school is ROUGH) about things like fruit leather looking like poop. They're pretty tough boys, they take care of themselves, but it's hard to hear as a parent.

Having a group or community (I agree, church is an iffy word!) gives me another way to feel like I belong or fit in. Sometimes being an environmentalist mom is a little like being in middle school!!!

Joyce said...

Eco-burban mom, I'll bet your kids are going to take all the good habits you're cultivating on into the future, although they may have to tell you that you're ruining their lives a few times along the way:) Yeah, I go back and forth about the button. I even have one designed in my mind's eye, but then I think maybe a "club" itself would feel kind of exclusive somehow, or have some joining-up rule that would make someone feel left out. I think getting the Little League parents to recycle is the kind of thing we can all do.
As to the fruit leathers looking like dog poop, they ought to dare their friends to eat them-isn't that the kind of thing middle school boys love to do?

eco 'burban mom said...

Oh, yes... I ruin my kids lives daily, but redeem myself by downloading tons of songs from iTunes... :o)

I wouldn't want our greem community to be a "club" persay... no one should feel they need to do or be something to join. However, a kind of community in which you feel welcome to participate in or speak freely or even come and go as your schedule allows is such a wonderful idea. Maybe, this is a case of isolation here in the 'burbs of Detroit. You don't find too many folks jumping on the green bandwagon here. I think most people think I am on the crazy train!! :o)

Joyce said...

Speaking freely is important. I write about what matters to me, and others should get to do the same. When I suggest that we tone down the politics, I sure don't mean that people shouldn't express their opinion about an administration or whatever. I just sometimes feel like there is so much really ugly stuff said, it can be hard to get past that. I suppose it's a matter of rethinking the way people communicate those opinions, so that they don't lump a bunch of people together as "the enemy". I like the West-coast people I've blog-met; I want to introduce them to my midwest friends, and vice-versa. But sometimes it feels like a wierd version of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"!!

Green Bean said...

I just finished the comments after my last post. Joyce, I could not agree with you more. I would like to see the green movement as something that transcends politics, race, location, stereotypes and even religion. We can and must work together but, in doing that, I think we will find that we really like each other (like your dad and his friends on the city council).

We also need it to spread. Not just for the obvious reasons - to have a decent planet to pass on to our children and grandchildren, to help those who are starving in third world countries. But so that we don't feel isolated and alone.

I've been thinking about this alot and will write another post soon - I'd do it now but I need to shut down and take the boys to the park. ;-) Gotta get that energy out.

Fred Farnsworth said...

I wouldn't want our greem community to be a "club" persay... no one should feel they need to do or be something to join. However, a kind of community in which you feel welcome to participate in or speak freely or even come and go as your schedule allows is such a wonderful idea. Maybe, this is a case of isolation here in the 'burbs of Detroit. You don't find too many folks jumping on the green bandwagon here. I think most people think I am on the crazy train!! :o)