The green movement is long been burdened with the stigma of being for Birkenstock wearers and granola crunchers only, a hippie pipedream rather than a realistic lifestyle. However today, these stereotypes are quickly becoming as irrelevant as is a wasteful lifestyle, and there are plenty of reasons why.
Green is the way of the future: Whether we realize it or not, every day progress is leaning towards a more sustainable way of life. Banks and credit card companies are going paperless, stores are offering e-gift cards (to spare plastic waste), and e-readers that can hold thousands of books are flying off the shelves. Car commercials are competing for bragging rights on the lowest gas-mileage, and classic food companies are returning to their less processed, greener roots.
Green is, well, cool: Famous names attached to the green movement also lend to sustainability’s appeal, with names from Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett and George Clooney to Tom Hanks.
Even the fast food market is making a shift, turning to more sustainable practices and products due to an increasingly savvy customer base. Emerging restaurants, like Pret a Manger, focus on serving fresh, local products and preservative-free ingredients. Started in London in 1986, the company only came to the US in 2000, however their customer base and popularity has been growing rapidly since, and locations can be found in major metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Washington DC, and New York City.
Even major fast food corporations are taking the hint, looking to more sustainable practices themselves. McDonalds, for example, opened their first LEED certified gold pilot restaurant in Chicago in 2009, with plans of expanding to other areas. Several other fast food giants can also boast LEED certification, including Subway, Starbucks, and Chipotle. (For more information on Chipotle’s awesome commitment to “food with integrity,” click here!)
So now, going green is not just the more conscious way to live, but it is more popular too!
By Grace Interlichia, Class of 2013