Going green relates to the pursuit of knowledge that can lead to environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.
Environmentalism has also been considered in the definition of going green. This term describes the movement to protect the quality and continuity of life through the conservation of natural resources, prevention of pollution, and the sustainable management of land use practices. In America, it developed out of the philosophical foundations of Thomas Jefferson and Henry David Thoreau. Organised environmentalism began in the late 19th century with the establishment of national parks and forests and the preservation of important natural features and landmarks.
The 1950s and 60s saw the inclusion of wildlife conservation and the importance of reducing air and water pollution, and the production and disposal of solid waste. The scope of environmentalism has continually expanded over the last few decades with the inclusion of sustainability to this field.
In more recent times going green has switched to a more individualistic approach. While governments are still a major driving force behind this movement there is greater emphasis on the role of the individual in the pursuit of green lifestyles. This evolution has seen the creation of the lifestyles of health and sustainability (LOHAS) movement which is a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living and social justice.
LOHAS represents a paradigm shift in the consumer market with the alignment of environmental responsibility with consumption. Within the LOHAS market there are different levels of commitment towards going green and the purchasing of products that suit this lifestyle. A number of studies have been conducted in this area with more and more retailers realising the importance of this emerging market segment now and in the future.
The green movement is accelerating, with governments, businesses and individuals realising the importance of a lifestyle that minimises negative environmental impacts. The degree and speed in which this movement permeates the world’s population will determine the extent of damage the environment will sustain before people realise that our current way of living is not sustainable.