Do you have a green thumb? If someone asks you that, they’re not wondering if your thumb is actually the color green. They’re wondering if you’re good with plants. Can you make “green” things like plants flourish?

In today’s world, the color green is often associated with the Earth and its environment. So many of Earth’s living things — from plants to trees to the grass in your front lawn — are green. That’s why the movement to protect our environment — called environmentalism — is often referred to as the “green” movement or “going green.”

The overall goal of environmentalism is to protect and conserve the Earth’s environment. Everything we do has an impact on the environment — either good or bad. The environmentalists encourage us to pursue actions that will help rather than harm the environment.

Environmentalism can take many forms and concentrate on numerous issues. For example, attempts to reduce pollution and strategies to increase recycling of reusable materials are just two common forms of environmentalism in action.

As more and more people are made aware of the effects of their actions on the environment, they seek ways to reduce the negative effects of these actions. “Going green” has become a popular saying as people take steps to help preserve the Earth for future generations.

These actions may be as simple as using a reusable grocery bag instead of paper or plastic bags. Or they may be more complex, such as purchasing a hybrid car to reduce the burning of fossil fuels.

“Going green” takes on new importance each year on Earth Day. As we celebrate the Earth and its natural resources, it’s appropriate to think about what choices we can make to have a positive impact on the environment and reduce the negative impacts.

If you need some encouragement to “go green,” consider some of these interesting facts:

  • The size of the world’s tropical rainforests decline by 1.5 acres every second because of land development.
  • This reduction in the size of rainforests leads to the destruction of over 130 plant, animal and insect species every day — that’s about 50,000 species per year that become extinct!
  • Approximately 36 of the 50 United States expect some type of water shortage by 2013.
  • Recycling saves energy: experts say 20 cans can be made out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make one can from new material.
  • A television set can run for about 3 hours on the energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can.

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