Is Green Mainstream?

Homework has a new meaning. Once a straightforward concept relating to students, it now applies to those of us who have long since graduated high school and college. Whether a student, an entrepreneur or household manager we all work at home. There are so many “jobs” right here under my own roof, I can endlessly distract myself from the real task—an assignment to find a story on another blog and relate it back to my blog.  Does anyone else have ADHWD (Attention Deficit Homework Distraction)?

I cleverly, and somewhat naively as it turns out, think I will take a shortcut by going to the WSJ Middle Seat Blog because I love the WSJ and am curious to find out if its look and feel on my kitchen table can be replicated in the digital world.  I discover the blog is about airlines, and this makes perfect sense given its title, so I figure a quick search of “carbon footprint” will yield immediate and numerous results. After all, flying creates copious CO2 emissions, which is not a good thing and environmental figureheads take flak for flying often. What are people supposed to do though, sprout their own wings? The search results yield ticker symbols. Okay, so I try “sustainable” and get a list of stories that have nothing to do with the planet. Then I discover I am searching the entire WSJ site. I find the Middle Seat search box, which to my chagrin was there all time and like most everything on the web—it is there you just have to find it! One story comes up. One! And, it isn’t even written by Scott McCartney. Credit is given to Middle Seat colleagues at the Environmental Capital Blog. Okay, I can stop the exercise here and write about our carbon footprint as it relates to flying, but now I am curious. What will my search terms yield at the other pop-culture and news-related blogs?

Perez Hilton. This blog is so offensive to the eye that I am slightly nauseous—it feels like I just walked into a Wal-Mart or the Dollar Store in an altered state of mind. My next stop is where I put in “sustainable” and get a paltry six stories ranging from Libya air raids to a democrat rejecting GOP’s budge cuts. This brings up an annoyance. I have been writing about environmental issues for almost a decade and am not sure when the world of politics high-jacked our big buzzword—sustainable—but they did. “Green” and “green living” yield stories about garlic pea shoots and Russian mail-order brides, among other irrelevant topics. “Carbon footprint” comes through with 122 stories but the word “eco” hits the jackpot with over seven thousand stories!

I am beginning to feel more optimistic and realize I know several other sites that would offer up a zillion stories to link to my blog. However, I am intrigued by a more mainstream approach. At all the search terms I choose to employ yield some real gems. Once again, “eco” is the real winner. I see stories as far back as 2007, which I like because it gives an historical perspective. I am feeling optimistic at this point so I type in “green home.” Well, that was mistake—I get “Rent-a-Grave” and lots more like it. Wait, I just spotted it “Rooftop Pipe-Dream.” It ties in perfectly because I mentioned the controversy over wind power in a previous blog post. My ADHWD is calling me now but I am looking forward to writing about wind energy… soon. I thought I would find more about green and sustainable homes and lifestyles in mainstream media. Maybe I just need a lesson on the search function.


  1. Ha! Thanks for the moment of (shared) humor and frustration - I think a lot of us have the same consternation with Search.

    I loved your comments about the definitions that can be found - or not - for Sustainable and Sustainability. At my former company, in trying to implement some sustainability efforts, we discovered that strategies, policies and measurement are different almost everywhere you turn. It isn't easy being Green. Or Eco. Or Sustainable!

  2. Love your experiment of trying the same search words in different sites! I think we can't help but suffer from some sort of attention deficit these days, with all this information coming at us at light speed (literally)! Ability to filter through all of it might just become the difference between surviving or not in this media crazy world!

  3. Great post Tracy! I'm going to try this on the sites I follow (though there aren't many). I would have thought that green living would get more notice - well, not on the Perez Hilton site, I guess!

  4. Thanks for your thoughts! I was really amazed to discover just how difficult it was to find green terminology on mainstream sites.


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