You would be hard pressed to find an area that hasn't been infiltrated by the word “green” in the past few years. It is everywhere from cleaning and food products to major industries. We asked readers on the GrowWrite! Facebook page to chime in on the topic a few weeks ago when we posted the poll question you see in the graphic on the next page. There are some who would argue that the word is so oversaturated in today's marketplace that it has lost its meaning. Joe Lamp'l, host of “Growing a Greener World” and author of The Green Gardeners Guide: “Sadly, it's way overused. Greenwashing is exploited and consequently so many people are numb to it now. The word still is near and dear to my heart when used appropriately.” Author Chris McLaughlin: “I agree with my fellow garden writers. Just like the term 'organic' -- you almost don't 'hear' the word anymore. But then, gardening & environmental issues don't corner the market on this phenomenon this is typical of everything in the world (as it catches on).” Southern Living's Grumpy Gardener Steve Bender: “'Green' is like 'natural' or 'organic' -- once useful terms now co-opted by big business to increase market share without making any significant change at all.” Kat Dickerson: “I think it is kind of like the pink ribbon for breast cancer. It is used so much that people are getting sick of seeing/hearing it. I am not sure if it still has the same impact but I don't know what the answer is either. I just think for both, it is not so much about awareness since we are all aware of the problems. I think it is about taking action.” Michael Phillips: “I think it is a good short word that is now well known to mean the environmental movement. However, I think it is sometimes used in places that do not deserve it. “ Steven Munley: “I think overall, it is important to be vigilant about what the terms mean. I agree with others who have posted that "green" and like terms have been co-opted, but as a responsible citizen and consumer, we have a responsibility to review and verify these claims, and not just be sheep about it. More people are aware, and that's great - but it can't stop there. Shannon Vaughn of Great American Seed Swap: “I still like 'green.' I can't hear it, like on Sesame Street, without thinking 'environment.'” Steve Stroupe of Pond Trade Magazine: “It has a clear, if overly-broad meaning to most, and is prized by some while loathed by others. Plays well on MSNBC. FOX...not so much.. “ Green Living authority Shawna Coronado: “As a writer, I have discovered that the general public does not understand what more complex words related to the green industry like 'sustainability' or 'environmentalism' specifically mean. I frequently use green as a general term that is more easily referenced and understood by my target audience. This target audience is new to sustainability and learning baby steps, so 'green' becomes the best and easiest word to use that they will grasp and understand.”
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