Greening is not a checklist; it's a journey.

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laz77

New Member
Venezuelan Spanish
Hello,

First post in this forum, so if this not belong in this section, please excuse me.

I was reading a text about ecology and greening and found this expression:

Greening is not a checklist; it's a journey.
I'm wondering what exactly does this expression mean? To be more precise, what I'm having problems understanding is the meaning of the expression "(...) is not a checklist; it's a journey." Does it mean that greening is not a trivial thing you accomplish by filling in a checklist, but a compromise to be accomplished in the long term throughout a whole life? What possible meaning(s) does this expression have?

Thank you! :)
 
  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello laz77, and Welcome to the Forum! :)

    It's not entirely clear what that means, but I think you've done a wonderful job of rendering it quite meaningful.

    As it's likely that 'greening' is being advocated, I'd change the word 'compromise' for the word 'something'. :)
     

    laz77

    New Member
    Venezuelan Spanish
    Hello Beryl,

    Yes, it's a text promoting 'green' measures at the workplace. I thought that this was a commonly used phrase in English (though if its meaning is not clear for you, then I guess it's not a common phrase :)). Thank you very much for your help!

    Regards.
     

    Jim2996

    Senior Member
    American English
    It doesn't exactly mean anything. It's a metaphor, and perhaps a lousy one.

    I would be very annoyed if the context didn't explain it. It is a contrast between two things. I think it is actually a good title or topic sentence for a paragraph. Most readers will think: "What does he mean by that? I'm curious. I want to read more and find out." We call this a 'hook' It could also be an attempt (I won't say good attempt) a catchy summary.

    To me, a checklist is something you do beforehand, you check that everything is ready to go. Sometimes it done afterwards, to check that everything has been done.

    My guess, and it can only be a guess, is that by journey they are thinking that there is a goal, or that there will be many difficulties (detours) along the way. Keep the goal/destination in mind, it's worth it, don't be dissuaded, perhaps even enjoy it.

    This contrast with what—I am only guessing—seems to have the idea of someone who always prepares and gets ready, but never actually starts (Don't we all know people like that?).

    Checklist also suggest that they don't think that it would be something you could do by following some simple, predetermined 'recipe', routine, instructions, written procedure, etc. You are going to have to think.

    Having said this, I probably would read the text to see what they meant.


    I see you are Spanish. The word you want is commitment. You have been fooled by a 'false amigo.' A compromise is something totally different.

    Don't expect to find good, clear English in a textbook; it's often quite the opposite.
    I would have started the sentence with "Going green is not a ...."
    This is the usual (set) expression. Greening is more what plants do in the spring.
     

    laz77

    New Member
    Venezuelan Spanish
    Hello Jim,

    Thank you for the thorough explanation! I think you're right in the comparison between 'checklist' and a simple recipe in this case. The text talks about different measures people can take to go green at the workplace. Here is the complete paragraph where I found the phrase (it's the last paragraph of the text):

    Finally, be upfront about what you’ve been able to do and what you hope to do. “Greening is not a checklist; it’s a journey,” says Darby Hoover, senior resource specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “There’s always a next step you can take.”
    You're right about 'commitment' and 'compromise'; 'commitment' is the right word in English in this case (I was fooled by a 'falso amigo', indeed :eek:).

    Regards.
     

    Jim2996

    Senior Member
    American English
    The text talks about different measures people can take to go green at the workplace.
    You understand what people say.
    Say "...to green at the workplace." and I'm thinking this involves a lot green paint, maybe a lot of plants.

    It would have been better if you included the fuller quote in your original question. Often, we natives need all the help we can get.
     
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