What does green mean?

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Green is such a beautiful color.

It is the color the world turns in the springtime after a cold, harsh winter and tiny new shoots turn a barren horizon into a lush wonderland. It is the color of the rivers in Chicago and Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day.

Then, too, it is the color of money.

The person with a green thumb has long been admired and envied for his success with making flowers and plants grow. It is said that if this person would drop a cigarette to the ground, a tobacco plant would shortly grow in that spot.

These are green things that we have always known about, but exactly what is the new green which seems to be everywhere and applied to everybody and everything? What do you have to do to be green? Marketing folks jumped on green with a vengeance, so much so that the Federal Trade Commission is revising the rules this year after being hit with a “tsunami of green marketing claims,” which they stopped short of calling out-right lies but did suggest some claims were exaggerated greatly with claims of “eco-friendly” being too vague. After this year, claims must be substantiated by thorough testing.

Listed below are examples taken from newspaper articles showing how the new green is being used. Even our University is classified as being green. The Princeton Review Guide to 311 Green Colleges, 2011 edition, lists Auburn University as green, one reason being that the University spends 75 percent of the food budget on local/organic foods.

Greenpeace submits its green seafood score card on seafood purchasing by grocery stores, carefully

checking to be sure purchases are not made from overfished regions or where endangered species may be involved. Out of the 15 slots allotted, Safeway was number one. Target tied with Wegnaman for second with Walmart number 13 and Kroger number 15.

On the flyer that Alabama Power includes with the monthly bill, there is a section entitled “the green spot” where energy saving tips are given.

The Washington Post tells you: “Go Green. Pay for your subscription with credit card Easy Pay and never get another bill. 202-334-6100.”

Headlines when BMW’s new model with an all electric starter came out read “BMW makes a green leap of faith.”

Sprint has a full page ad in USA Today where there is a picture of the phone sitting in a flower bed and only these words: “Let’s make green thumbs happy with the eco-friendly Android phone. Now you can get Sprint’s first eco-friendly Android phone for only $49.99. The Replenish is built partly with recyclable materials, comes preloaded with the Green Sprint ID Pack and is available with a solar charging accessory. Together, we can earn mother nature’s approval. Only from Sprint.”

Public relations people use green. A recent article set out how some television programs were green. Actors on” House” used their own personal coffee cups instead of disposables. The group producing “The Chicago Code” had recycle bins at every trailer, and “ The Good Wife” crew used electronic scripts and donated left-over food. Nothing was said about entertainment; just that they were green.

Subway has a new television ad “Grab the Green” to show that Subway is adding avocado to some of their sandwiches in the 24,188 Subway stores in the United States.

The definition of the new green seems to be that if you are protecting the environment by any means you are green. We have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to protect the environment and we all must do everything we can to be green..

But, just adding avocado to our sandwiches really isn’t enough.

Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at opelikaobserver@att.net

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