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How can Americans disregard the rest of the world when we live in such a globalized society?
The American Dream? Let’s take it global.
Everyone is impacting the environment worldwide, one way or another—it is all interconnected. I use the term “environment” to include all people and to avoid separation that humans give between ourselves and the term.
Many people concern themselves with themselves. However, with the world becoming considerably smaller through this interconnectedness, one’s actions can now influence the globe more easily.
To begin, the American Dream changes with each individual, most often deriving from the ideas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The stereotypical image that pops into many people’s minds is the big house with a white picket fence and a generous, steady income.
Should we be considering a Global Dream? What would such a dream even look like? Of course, it would vary with such drastic diversity among countries, but what would be the role of an American in such a case?
Our role is to take responsibility and be aware.
Awareness is a key factor in our decision-making and for the possibility towards positive change. With positive change, we will make significant change. We will rely less on fossil fuels and other factors contributing to climate change. Therefore, we will prevent refugees from deserting their homelands and relocating their livelihood.
How does this even relate to the American Dream? I can only speak for myself.
My Green American Dream does not consist of a large house filled with unnecessary material wants because I am aware that most of it will end up in a landfill that will take generations to decompose.
My Green American Dream does not equate success to income because success, to me, is achieved through my impacts on the environment and interpersonal relations.
My Green American Dream does, however, consist of education. Although, I do hope to receive a formal education, it more importantly, includes the education I receive through experiences and other people. It also includes the education I can provide others through conversation.
My Green American Dream does consist of spreading awareness and bringing important global issues, such as climate change, to people’s attention so they change their behaviors and make environmentally sound decisions.
My Green American Dream considers life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but with the consciousness of my influence on the global scale.
What can you change within your own dream to make it a little bit greener?
Kelly Brichta is a freshman attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, majoring in Environmental Studies. Also an artist, she spreads awareness through her work. Her desire to reach a broader audience is what currently drives her to reach the ultimate goal of environmental documentary filmmaking. Kelly is an avid learner whose curiosity will hopefully lead her to many surmounted discoveries. If you wish to do so, follow her on twitter or view some of her art.