Fong Ling’s Essay: ‘Going green is but the privilege of the rich.’ How true is this?

Thesis statement: Going green encompasses more than just making the effort to choose an alternative energy source, it also includes an alternative lifestyle and habits, which are more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Going green is more than just an investment of money, but also an investment of time and effort; it is not a privilege to the rich but a responsibility of everyone.

Green energy is expensive and only a few people can afford such an alternative source of power — ‘a few’ being the rich. Renewable energy is the harvesting energy from natural sources, which will never deplete; these include solar power, wind power and hydroelectricity. However, the efficiency of renewable energy is incomparable to that of the good old fossil fuels people have been accustomed to use. There have been great amounts of studies done to maximize the amount of energy generated, and fine-tune the equipments, but renewable energy is still far from ‘perfect’. The research and technology behind green energy is what attaches the huge price tag beside it. In Britain electricity from wind farms can go as far as to costs twice as much as that from traditional sources; solar power is even more dear. Energy-saving appliances also cost a pinch more than regular household appliances. The rich have the benefit of a wider range of options with the capital they have, and only they are entitled to the option of a pricey alternative energy source. Going green requires excessive amounts of ‘greens’.

However, caring for the environment can be as simple as a change of lifestyle or habit, and anyone is capable of doing so. The famous 3-Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is the jingle to going green. A simple separation of the trash dividing organic waste and recyclables, revamping old furniture to give them a second-life, these little actions are also a means of going green. If villages in Africa are joining in the recycling movements, who else cannot do the same? Money need not be the only thing invested in saving the Earth, time and effort is. Sitting in front of your laptop for a few more seconds to change your printer settings to double-sided printing — it is that simple. A few clicks can also help to save the environment.

In that case, going green should not be seen as a prerogative of the rich; since everyone is capable of saving the Earth, it should instead be the responsibility of all to contribute to this cause. The Earth is dying, and it is the fault of Man’s selfish needs for convenience and development. It is the moral obligation of Man to help the earth since we are the perpetrators of its demise. If you are to flick any switch, you are to be indebted to the Earth, you are to pay back to the Earth for that fuel, not just the electrical bills to the government. We know why, we know how and we have the capabilities to help save this planet. The Earth is going down and we are going down with it. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

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Fong Ling’s Essay: ‘Going green is but the privilege of the rich.’ How true is this?

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