Yes, I think it is possible for everyone in the United States to live a green lifestyle. The real question is if everyone is willing to. I think it will take time, patience, and a lot of education but I think we are on the right track. If we really focus on teaching today’s kids about the environment, recycling, energy conservation, etc… then they will be more likely to live a green lifestyle when they are adults. The hard part is getting enough adults to set the example. Many aquariums and zoos are starting to incorporate educational information about sustainability and I think that helps also. The more exposure today’s youth have, the more likely they are to really step forward and make a change.
Unfortunately, the current generation, 20-30 year olds, have, by some, been labeled as the Q-generation. We are quiet compared to previous generations who have done anti-war protests, protested for civil rights, marched for votes for women… That being said, since we have not taken on this task, the next generation is our best hope.
Not with the current American lifestyle, living in suburbia and driving everywhere, eating to the point of obesity, throwing away in a month more stuff than a typical Asian has in a year (or more), using dozens of electronic devices (including, potentially, electric cars – the coal needed to generate the electricity to power them is the biggest offender in terms of carbon emissions in the US, and there is no feasible short-term alternative for significantly more electricity generation), ignoring where things come from – assuming that strawberries in January are their god-given right, when in fact their importation from Chile costs the environment dearly, in many steps along the way… and in a dozen more ways.
Someday, not by choice, all people will not have such lifestyles. The transition to that will be quite painful, especially for Americans, I fear.
Well it’s possible that people change their ways but not probable. I think the largest boon to the green lifestyle is the commuter culture. So many people (understandably so) like to live in the suburbs where they have more space and then drive a good distance to work. In my opinion to reasonably switch our lifestyle we would need a drastic public transportation overhaul. In my opinion bullet trains are a reliable and an economical option, the problem is is that the upstart cost to put in the lines with a country as large as ours would be astronomical.
Everybody can do a little to cut down on wastes but I find it very difficult to belive we could naturally convince every single American to go green and become far less wasteful than we currently are. As rigibson pointed out, Americans are ingrained in a very wasteful culture. It would take a lot to change the way things are today.
There are varying degrees of “green,” and everyone is capable of some amount of change. However, our culture is indeed a huge obstacle. Americans think that each individual is capable of choosing what they want all the time, regardless of any consequence for their individual choice. Our unregulated, laissez-faire capitalism allows us to buy whatever we want, as long as we have the money to pay. Many people give in to instant gratification, and in my personal opinion, they will have more struggles to adopt a “green” lifestyle.
No. While it may be plausible to educate the public at large about the benefits of living a ‘green’ lifestyle, the financial dynamics of society play a major role. Some people simply don’t have the means to transition to a new lifestyle that may potentially cost them more in the short-term, despite long-term advantages. I formulated and conducted a survey regarding a similar premise during my undergraduate studies, and the general consensus is that people support the concept of more sustainable lifestyles but are absolutely concerned about the costs and transition required.
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