Guide to a Greener Generation

By Ashley Bagwell

   Over time, history has been conveniently divided into groups of people known as “generations,” used most often for mass marketing but also as a clear divide between age groups.

   The Lost Generation refers to people who came of age during and shortly after World War I. The Greatest Generation refers to the generation that served in World War II. The Silent Generation refers to people born between the two World Wars. The Baby Boomers were the generation born just after World War II.  Generation Jones, is the generation born between the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Generation X is the generation born between approximately 1964 to 1981. Generation Y, born 1980-2001, and Generation I, born after 1993, both refer to the generation which grew up with the internet and various other major world events such as the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001.

   The most recent generation to come into existence is most commonly referred to as The Green Generation. This generation transcends the usual barriers such as class, race, creed, country, religion, political ideology and, most importantly, age.

   Becoming a member of The Green Generation is easier than one might think. Provided bellow is a list of simple steps to help any willing participant become an environmentally conscious member of society.

Greening your diet:

  • Drink more water and less soda. High sugar content is much less beneficial than high water and nutrient content.
  • Real fruit juice is much healthier than the common three percent juice drinks, simply reading labels can ensure that you are actually improving your diet as opposed to loading your body with additional sugar.
  • When buying fruits and vegetables try to by not only organic foods, but also locally grown foods. Transporting grapefruit from California to Texas uses tremendous amounts of gas compared to the energy used transporting grapefruit from just a few miles away. Local foods are going to be the freshest and the money supports the local farmers. Austin alone has eight farmers markets.

Living green:

  • Conserve water:
  1.    Conserve water when possible. In the bathroom, turning off the sink while brushing teeth can save 200 gallons a month.
  2. ­   Don’t wait for water to warm when washing the face and the hands, water only kills germs if it is scorching hot.
  3. ­   Letting the kitchen sink fill in order to wash dishes is an effective method in water conservation.
  4. ­   When washing vegetables use a bowl, and dump the excess water in the yard as opposed to down the drain.
  5. ­   When taking a shower, save your marvelous singing voice for something other than the gallons of water that pour down the drain. Cutting shower times can save a lot of water.
  • Save energy:
  1. ­   Switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact florescent light bulbs can save a lot of energy and emit a considerably higher amount of light.
  2. ­   Using rechargeable batteries is a healthier alternative to the 15 billion batteries which end up in landfills every year.
  • Recycle:
  1. ­   Check with you local recycling center and find out what they are able to process. Recycling is a common and simple way to become more environmentally minded.
  2. ­   Another way to recycle is to donate and shop at places like Goodwill. These places accept only materials in good quality and they are made  available at convenient prices.