Get Hip Get Green kills two birds with one greenstone. Scratch that… I should have clarified it was a one’s and zero’s bird from the game “Duck Hunt”. Back to the issue: Get Hip Get Green tackles two core issues, both “E”s: environmentalism and education. How? The organization focuses on a realistic short-term goal of selling reusable grocery bags made from partially recycled material, and funneling the money raised back to a green cause by way of a youth program called The Green Ambassadors, which is an environmental education program that empowers youths to be agents of change in their communities and world. They have designed a simple channel that aspires to be an endless cycle of thought and resourceful activism.
The rapid consumption of plastic bags is tremendous waste of resources and a worldwide crisis. Get Hip Get Green’s two-pronged system attacks the immediate problem that humans face with managing our own waste consumption and an even larger issue of educating a new generation on green issues.
The world has never changed overnight. Natural patterns are inherent in our lives, from patterns in our DNA to weather cycles, and my continuous pattern of dating blondes. Societies have dealt with social issues for hundreds of years and more, such as sexism, classism, racism… The list goes on. Hey, are we still talking about totting around frozen Jalapeño Poppers and generic cereal? You bet.
Broad social change takes time. I think most kindergartners probably don’t know that at one point in our history, African Americans couldn’t dine at the same restaurants, sit on the same section of the bus, and were segregated to die on battlefields. I know this, but never witnessed it. I learned from parents and through education. These social norms didn’t just accidentally change. I know my perspective on race is much different than my parents’ generation. The rise in interracial marriage is a testament to its progress. These changes weren’t given to us. Lives were lost. Blood was spilled. Tears shed. They were earned. For the most part, these archaic norms of prejudice have shifted to positive norms. That being said, racism still exists today. But smaller changes had to be achieved first, before continuing further growth and education.
Similarly, this generation has to confront smaller enviromental issues before we can move to the larger looming ones. We have to conquer them and ingrain these habits in our everyday patterns. Once we convince the younger generation it isn’t weird to take a bag to the grocery store, we’ll have made real progress. They’ll have room to aim at higher aspirations and achieve them. Get Hip Get Green has that in mind. We change the status quo now and the next generation can break through their status quo. Invest now and later.