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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students sound off on trendiness of being green

    At the forefront of the fight against the depletion of Earth’s natural resources are the younger generations that find themselves fighting for control of an issue that will affect humanity for lifetimes to come.

    “”Young people really want a cause to fight for, and this is something that unites everybody,”” said Phyllis Kenigsberg, a Judaic studies sophomore. “”No matter what age or race, we all live on this Earth.””

    While getting involved in the green effort may seem like the ultimate selfless act, its popularity has resulted in an unstoppable pop culture movement that attracts some students because of its trendy stature rather than its environmental goals, said Eric Kolb, a criminal justice administration sophomore.

    “”People are doing too much talk and not enough action,”” he said. “”Even though there are a lot of people doing it for the environment, there are some people that might, say, drive a hybrid car because they think they look cool in it.””

    Students said they’ve noticed businesses, political campaigns and celebrities taking a cue from their demographic’s widespread involvement in recent green efforts, and vice versa.

    Amy Wieseneck, a media arts junior and a former Daily Wildcat arts reporter, said she’s seen the ongoing presidential campaigns use eco-friendly talk to court the young vote.

    “”They spend a good amount of time talking about green jobs, the future and helping the environment,”” she said. “”It’s nice to know that they’re willing to talk about it.””

    Marketing executives are also capitalizing on the green craze to attract students to consumer products, said Lorenzo Garza, an anthropology junior.

    “”They will market to you as a green product or green company, but sometimes they are just trying to make themselves seem more akin to beliefs of younger people today,”” he said.

    To businesses, being green has turned from a mindset into a marketable brand whose main purpose will always come back to simply making money, Garza said.

    “”They are being green to make green,”” he said. “”Make sure you do your homework to make sure that a product really is green either in materials or the way it was made.””

    Despite the occasional circulation of products that are marketed in a deceitful way, it should not negatively change the way people look at green products, as consumers are purchasing such items with an eco-friendly goal in mind, said Anna Moreno, a biology sophomore.

    “”At least they’re getting into something positive,”” she said. “”Even if (the product) isn’t genuine, the person’s intentions are.””

    Celebrity endorsements of green lifestyles have had quite a lot to do with young people getting involved, said Erin Biber, a dietetics sophomore.

    “”Celebrities are the big thing now, since people look up to them more than other people,”” she said. “”They’re the ones who kind of started getting people to look at hybrid cars, organic foods – things like that.””

    Although students may be obsessed with celebrities and entertainment news, it can result in positive implications for the rest of the world, Biber said.

    “”It can be a good thing, because they’re promoting (green efforts) and the welfare of people,”” she said.

    People are just now starting to take a long-term approach with the interests of the future in mind, Moreno said, adding there is still much to be done to reach out to make the world aware of the importance of such an approach.

    “”Whether we realize it or not, we’re consuming so much at a rate that’s very fast,”” she said. “”Until people finally come to a point where they realize that (the risk) is drastic, they will continue to think only about what’s going on right now instead of looking to the future.””

    Regardless of personal reasons behind individuals’ involvement in the eco-friendly effort, the bottom line is that issues facing the environment are finally getting the attention they deserve, Kenigsberg said.

    “”Whatever reason you’re doing it for, it’s all going to save the earth in the end,”” she said.

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