So, you’re out for an evening stroll around the neighborhood, and you suddenly spot a green light radiating from somebody’s porch. It’s bright and eye-catching, but it’s not related to Christmas, and neither is it anything to do with Halloween. As it turns out, in fact, the reason why people have decided to illuminate their houses with this color is much more poignant. It may even just leave you with a tear in your eye.
It’s fair to say, then, that green isn’t the most obvious choice of color with which to illuminate your home. And if you spotted a property being bathed in verdant light, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the ghoulish hue was trying to draw in trick-or-treaters. However, as previously mentioned, you’d be mistaken.
Since 2015, you see, a campaign has been trying to attach a special meaning to the green light. More specifically, the aim is to use the color as a way of showing support to a certain section of society. And people are actively encouraged to display green lights on their porches and to try and convince their friends and family to do the same.
An extract from a website that was set up to promote the green light campaign informs readers about how they can get involved, too. Yes, it urges people to “Change one light in a visible location in [their] home or office to green.” It then encourages individuals to keep the emerald light switched on every day – for a full 24 hours.
What’s more, as well as asking people to display the correctly-colored lamp, those behind the campaign also want participants to spread the word about what they are doing. Their website reads, “Inspire others to join the cause by taking a picture of your green light and sharing it on social media.” Another extract then asks people to log their efforts on maps, and this allows them to see both how many people are getting involved and how far the participation is spreading across the country.
As it turns out, then, the idea has seemingly caught on. And many people have got involved over the years, deciding to illuminate green lights of all shapes and sizes on the front of their properties. Some folk kept their displays subtle, with one emerald-colored lantern. But others went the whole hog, lighting up their whole houses in the grassy hue.
And as the campaign grew, participants shared photos of their efforts on social media. Many of the images wound up on a dedicated Facebook page, which, as of November 2019, boasted over 27,000 likes. Meanwhile, the map depicting the whereabouts of the green lights showed more than nine million “online acts of support” from around the United States.
Of course, the green light campaign isn’t the first time that an organization had harnessed the power of social media to raise awareness of a worthy cause. That’s right, in recent years a number of charity movements have achieved viral fame. All they had to do, you see, was capture the imagination of the general public and inspire them to get involved.
One such viral moment was the Ice Bucket Challenge from back in 2014, and as you may remember, it took the internet by storm. As its name suggests, the activity required participants to douse themselves with a bucket of icy water while being filmed. And following their soaking, they would post the video to social media and nominate others to take the plunge.
But what was the purpose of the Ice Bucket Challenge? Well, it was meant to raise awareness of ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The activity started to get some widespread coverage in July 2014, and it had soon earned viral status. In fact, during September 2014 alone, a whopping 17 million ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos were shared on Facebook.
The campaign proved so popular that it attracted a number of high-profile participants. That’s right, celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon, Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey all completed the Ice Bucket Challenge – as did former U.S. president George W. Bush. The president at the time, Barack Obama, was also nominated. And despite ultimately deciding not to take part, he did end up donating $100 towards the cause.
The success of the Ice Bucket Challenge was notably good news for a variety of Lou Gehrig’s disease charities, too. The ALS Association, for example, received donations totaling $115 million over just eight weeks in 2014. Furthermore, the majority of the money raised went towards funding research into the neurological disease.
Given the good that the campaign had done, the ALS Association was eager to replicate its success the following year. But the campaign sadly didn’t catch on for a second time. In 2017 Brian Frederick, executive vice president of communications and development for the ALS Association, told Mashable, “I think we learned you can’t capture lightning in a bottle twice.”
However, one non-profit campaign that’s managed to tick over year after year is Movember. The movement was founded back in 2003 by friends Luke Slattery and Travis Garone in Melbourne, Australia. At first, these two men had much simpler ambitions; they merely wanted to bring the mustache back into the public eye.
But Slattery and Garone had a brainwave when they decided to make the humble ’tache a symbol of awareness for men’s health. In particular, the Movember campaign was designed to shine a light on male cancers and mental wellness. And as is self-explanatory, all participants had to do was raise money by sporting a mustache throughout the month of November.
Since its launch, Movember has reportedly managed to keep growing annually. In its first year, for example, just 30 people took part. But in the following year, this number increased dramatically, seeing 480 people raise over $40,000 towards men’s health initiatives. And in 2010 over a million participants reportedly took part in Movember in 11 different countries.
Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, Movember has also attracted celebrity supporters over the years. These include the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Chris Hemsworth and David Beckham – all of whom proudly promoted the campaign on their own faces. And with the help of social media, they could encourage even more people to get involved.
Another viral charity campaign that received celebrity backing was the #NoMakeUpSelfie movement in aid of Cancer Research. This trend initially started out in the U.K., but it soon attracted some of Hollywood’s most famous faces. And they were more than willing to bare all in order to raise awareness of the cause.
Among the women to get involved in the #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign were celebrities such as Rihanna, Beyoncé and Cara Delevingne. They, like hundreds of others, took to social media to share a photograph of themselves in all their natural glory. And thanks to the awareness that was raised, the U.K. charity Cancer Research received millions in donations.
Following the success of the #NoMakeUpSelfie trend in 2014, Harpal Kumar – the chief executive of Cancer Research U.K. – issued a statement to the Press Association. In it, he talked about the group’s astonishment at how much the public backed the initiative. He said, “We have been overwhelmed by the support people have been showing us through the #nomakeupselfie trend.”
Kumar continued, “We don’t receive any government funding for our research. And so it is phenomenal to think that the generosity of the public is enabling us to fund critical research that we didn’t have the money for six days ago… It has been an exciting week, and we would just like to thank everyone again for their support.”
Part of the beauty of viral, non-profit campaigns is that they can restore our collective confidence in human kindness. If timed correctly, they can give society something to feel good about when current affairs stories seem to address somewhat depressing topics. And the green light campaign is by no means any different.
Like the Ice Bucket Challenge and Movemeber before it, the green light movement relies on the goodwill of everyday people. It encourages individuals to take inspiration from their friends, families and neighbors to get involved and share their efforts online. That way, they can join the viral revolution and raise the profile of a good cause.
But what exactly is the green light movement in aid of? Well, to give it its proper name, the Green Light a Vet campaign aims to raise awareness of veterans and show appreciation for the sacrifices that they make for their country. And as you may have already guessed, all people have to do to get involved is change the color of one of their bulbs.
The organizers of the Green Light a Vet campaign even includes entities such as the retail chain Walmart. The initiative as a whole, you see, wants to create a clear symbol to military personal that their service is highly valued. So, neighborhoods can show their appreciation without saying a word; they simply have to flick a switch.
The Green Light a Vet campaign was launched to coincide with Veterans Day in 2015. And the symbolism behind the initiative was revealed in a statement from the Walmart Foundation at the time. It read, “A green light means go and that’s what veterans are known for – their ability to take action quickly no matter the challenge.”
Meanwhile, as an extract from the Green Light a Vet Facebook page points out, “Green is the color of hope, renewal and well-being. ‘Green Light’ is also a term commonly used to activate forward movement.” And that’s why the verdant shade was chosen to be the best color to “shine a light on America’s veterans.”
Gary Profit is a former brigadier general who subsequently went on to become Walmart’s senior director of military programs. In an interview with TheBlaze in 2015 he revealed what the Green Light a Vet campaign meant specifically to him. Profit said, “I hope it symbolizes what I have felt certainly since 9/11.”
Profit then went on to explain what he meant by that statement. He said, “That is the sense that, whether one agrees with the decisions to do things from a national security perspective, there is this universal sense that we should honor the service and respect the sacrifice of those who have worn the nation’s uniform and the families who have supported them.”
Within weeks of the campaign launching in 2015, some 1.5 million people had promised to get involved. And many of the people who pledged their support shared their efforts on social media, alongside the hashtag “greenlightavet.” As a result, Blue Star Families’ CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet told TheBlaze that she was “thrilled” with the response.
Blue Star Families is an organization that was created by the spouses of military personnel in August 2009. It aims to help the families of service personnel and also to raise awareness of the challenges that they often face. And as a result, it is a perfect partner for the Green Light a Vet campaign.
One challenge that service personnel face is establishing roots with their families. That’s because their job involves them moving around a lot. But Roth-Douquet hoped that the Green Light a Vet campaign would help them to feel more connected. She told TheBlaze, “We think this initiative is very important. Military families love the work they do for the country, but they can feel isolated from their neighbors.”
Roth-Douquet continued, “You can not know your neighbors, and it’s easy to not know whether your neighbors know the hard work that you’re doing… I think this green light initiative is a really beautiful way to do that. You see green lights dotting the porches, and that’s a wonderful visualization that people know you’re there, and they do care.”
Furthermore, Walmart’s pledge to partner with the Green Light a Vet campaign isn’t the only way that it reaches out to military members. Yes, the retailer also encourages businesses to employ veterans or their spouses – with the aim of making civilian life easier for them. Often, you see, the challenges of military life mean that the partners of service personnel can struggle to find employment.
Roth-Douquet elaborated on this idea to TheBlaze. She said, “Moving the way they do, it’s very hard for the non-military member to keep working… We can remember to include the person who also serves, besides the one in the uniform, acknowledge them and help them find the work that they can do.”
Gary Profit, it seems, shares a similar belief. He agrees that society needs to better understand the challenges faced by a number of military personnel. Speaking of Green Light a Vet, he said, “We think that the campaign is entirely intended to spark a movement where we change the dialogue in our communities to one that recognizes the value of veterans and their families.”
Four years after it launched, then, it seems that the Green Light a Vet campaign is really starting to catch on. People show their support for the initiative across social media by posting photos of their emerald-hued lanterns. And many of them write heartfelt tributes to the military alongside their snaps.
One poignant post shared on Instagram in 2017 showed a lantern glowing green outside someone’s front door. And alongside the snap, the user wrote, “Thank you to all the veterans out there who served, fought, sacrificed… choosing to put their lives on hold and run to the sound of chaos because they believed in something bigger than themselves.”
This particular internet user’s glowing tribute continued along the same lines. The grateful person went on, “Thank you to all the military families who have been and continue to be the glue and the foundation. You can never be thanked enough… You’re proof that our freedoms have never come free.”
Concluding their post in support of the Green Light A Vet campaign, the participant also expressed her gratitude to all those people that continue to serve today. She said, “Thank you to all my brothers and sisters deployed right now finding and destroying evil all over the world. Stay safe and get after it!”
So, the message is clear: if you spot a house with a green light, stop and take a moment to show your support. But there are other signs and campaigns out there of which it’s equally crucial to be aware. Take, for instance, purple fence posts. If you happen to catch sight of one of these, there’s something very important you should know.
For some of us, there are few things more relaxing than taking a walk around a quiet rural area. Indeed, the natural sights and sounds can prove quite soothing. But there may come a time when we stumble upon something fairly unusual, like a purple mark on a fence. And if we were to get too close, we could be putting our safety at risk.
If you frequent the great outdoors on a regular basis, you might spot some random oddities from time to time. It could be argued that that’s what makes those treks so satisfying, as you never know what might be around the corner. However, there are a few negative aspects to that as well.
For instance, you might see the odd splash of color on certain landmarks while out and about. If those marks are on trees, they could hold a variety of different meanings, with orange signaling that it will be cut down. Yet when it comes to fences, a dash of purple could leave you somewhat confused.
In the state of Texas, more and more people are marking their fence posts and trees with a vertical purple line. But this isn’t for decorative purposes or a stylistic choice to brighten things up. In fact, this particular sign needs to be taken very seriously by those who happen to cross it.
Around the world, there are countless people who love the idea of going traveling, whether that’s in a group or by themselves. After all, experiencing another culture firsthand can be incredibly fulfilling if you get the chance. In other cases, though, they might opt for a more rural setting instead.
Certain states in America continue to pull in tourists from far and wide, with places like Florida attracting a huge number of people. Of course that’s just one example, as other locations in the United States are very popular as well. But all those visitors who arrive might notice a few unusual signs.
As we previously mentioned, an orange spot on a tree signifies that the sapling in question is due to be chopped down. Meanwhile, a yellow marker serves as a warning to passers-by, as that particular tree houses a pungent fruit called ginkgo. Yet the splashes of color don’t stop there.
Staying on the subject of symbolic markings, while out and about, you might notice some sidewalks have random dashes of color. Ranging from pink to orange, those marks indicate that a new tree will be planted in that very area. Away from that, America also uses a certain color code for its various utility lines.
Indeed, should you stumble upon a red stripe on the ground, that means an “electric power line” is just below the surface. In keeping with that, a green marker highlights the location of a sewer or drain, while a dash of blue indicates a water pipe is nearby. That’s not all, though, as we’re about to discover.
Alongside a host of other colors that highlight utilities such as gas and telecommunications, white markers can also be found on the street. Those signs, however, shouldn’t be confused with the standard white lines that you see in the middle of the road. In fact, they indicate potential evacuation routes if an emergency arises.
All of that information can be quite useful to those who don’t know about the splashes of color on American streets. But outside of that, drivers in the United States have to be clued in to the meaning of certain signs on the road as well. For instance, the double yellow line is an incredibly important marker.
These painted lines help separate the two lanes of traffic on the road, yet they also have another vital meaning. If a driver feels the need to overtake one of the vehicles in front of them, they must watch out for the double yellow line. By passing the motorist ahead, the individual will be breaking the law by crossing the markings.
Much like the seemingly random appearance of purple fences in Texas, though, drivers had to contend with the emergence of a new marker in 2016. It all started in fall that year, as vehicle owners from Mahwah, New Jersey, noticed something different on the road. The double yellow line had been given a strange makeover.
To the surprise of local drivers, a new blue line had been painted between the double yellow lines, baffling plenty. With a new color in play, locals didn’t know if the standard rules still applied. For you see, blue markings on the road are more usually reserved for disabled motorists.
Off the back of that, the confusion in New Jersey only continued to grow, as two more colors were then introduced. In addition to the blue line, the local town of Dumont added a red marking to the center of a road. From there, a green stripe hit the streets too, filling in the gap between the double yellow lines.
At that point motorists across the state were desperate for some answers, but no one could’ve predicted what happened next. As it turned out, these colors didn’t indicate any changes to the rules of the road. They were, in fact, painted to honor a number of very special people in the community.
A lady from Mahwah wanted to pay tribute to local law enforcement, believing that they deserved something for their efforts. And in the end, her wish was granted in the most unexpected way. A blue line was subsequently painted on the road that housed the town’s police department, which kicked everything off.
After that, several other communities in New Jersey looked to follow suit, including the town of Mantua. Once the new markings turned up there, the local police responded with a heartfelt statement on their social media page. The Facebook post read, “The blue line is a symbolic reference to law enforcement.”
The statement continued, “It describes the concept that the police are what stand between the victimizers and would-be victims. Our hope is that it serves as a reminder that we are here to help. And [we] will do what we can to intervene to keep you and your loved ones safe.”
On that note, the blue line craze inspired officials to honor some of the other sectors of the emergency services. The previously mentioned red line was added to the road for the local fire department. And as for the green one, that was put in place to champion the efforts of paramedics.
But while those dashes of color ultimately had positive connotations, that’s not always the case. For instance, if you happen to visit states such as Arizona, Idaho and Montana, you might catch sight of some orange markers. At that stage, you probably watch your step, as they could serve as a warning.
Indeed, it’s believed that landowners in those states use orange paint as a way to mark their territory. Whether they’re on a fence or a tree, you will be trespassing on private property if you cross those particular landmarks. Now, to some, that might seem like a rather unusual way to protect your land. But, rather surprisingly, it’s not a new idea.
Back in 1987, the state of Arkansas brought the idea forward, before passing a unique law that same year. Alongside the installation of more traditional signs, homeowners were given permission to paint warnings as well. That way, someone would know if they’d strayed on to private property by mistake.
Over the next few years, nine more states followed Arkansas’ lead, with landowners stocking up on spray paint. Places like Florida, Missouri, Kansas and North Carolina all joined the fray, ahead of a significant moment in 1997. During that period, another major state adopted the law, too, as we’re about to discover.
Texas embraced the “Purple Paint Law” that year, as local residents looked to protect their private property. Unlike Arizona, Idaho and Montana, purple was the color of choice in the Lone Star State, just as it was in Arkansas and the other locations. So with that in mind, why that particular shade?
Ashley Pellerin, who works at Prairie View A&M University, offered up a potential explanation as to why purple became those states’ color of choice. But first, she looked to address an additional issue. Around 12 months after the law was passed in Texas, homeowners found that trespassers weren’t getting the message. In fact, they were ignoring both the signs and the stripes.
From there, an adjustment was made to the Purple Paint Law. Landowners were no longer required to hang up a “No Trespassing” sign, with the paint being enough. “It holds the same weight and the same law violations apply,” Pellerin told the Inquisitr website in February 2016. “It’s no trespassing, period.”
Then, Pellerin speculated as to why purple was the color of choice in this instance. “A lot of people who are colorblind, they can actually see the color purple,” she explained. “So I believe that’s why it was chosen.” However, if a resident wanted to be covered by this unique law, they had to follow some specific instructions.
Data-gatherers the Central Texas Geocachers then went on to share a few of those details, outlining what needed to be done to comply with the Purple Paint law. They revealed, “[The paint marking] must be vertical, at least eight inches long [and] at least one inch wide. [The] bottom of the mark should be between three to five feet above the ground.”
Yet that wasn’t all, though, as the group shared some final pointers. They added, “Markings can be no more than 100 feet apart in timberland. Markings can be no more than 1,000 feet apart on open land, [and] they must be in a place visible by those approaching the property.”
Meanwhile, the purple stripes in Texas don’t just serve as a deterrent to normal trespassers. The markings also try to warn off local hunters from stepping on to the property, which in turn protects the homeowner from any possible gunfire. But despite all of that, one major issue still remains.
Regardless of the unique warning signs, some individuals continue to trespass on private property. To back that up, Brad Clark, a game warden in the Lone Star State, told Inquisitr, “People hunting or fishing without the landowner’s consent is a common issue. Often they ignore posted signs and purple paint.”
In other cases, though, people are simply unaware of what the purple paint signifies, which Rudy Fernandez touched upon in 2016. Known as the “One-Armed Outdoorsman,” Fernandez worked for KEAN-FM, a local radio station in Texas. He went on to front a video regarding the Purple Paint Law that year.
After diving into the background of the law, Fernandez then raises the aforementioned issue at the back-end of the video. And in addition to this, he reveals a bit more about the color itself. Standing next to a fence post, the host says, “Sure enough, I’ve been out with a couple of my friends here recently.”
Fernandez continues, “And [my friends] said, ‘Man what’s up with all these purple posts? People love the color purple!’ Know what it means. Stay safe and stay out of trouble. It’s [called] ‘No Hunting Purple.’ You can mark your posts with it.” At this stage, he concludes the video with one last point.
“So if you see [a fence in Texas],” Fernandez adds. “And this color purple shows up on fence posts or gate posts, it means no trespassing, no hunting. Abide by it. It’ll keep you alive in the Lone Star State, and it will certainly keep you out of trouble!” With that, the short clip comes to a close.
The video was subsequently uploaded to YouTube in March 2016 via KEAN-FM’s official channel. Since then, it’s earned over 66,000 views on the site, alongside more than 120 likes. The clip has generated a number of comments as well, with online users sharing their response to the unusual color-based law.
Of all the messages, though, one really stood out. The YouTube user wrote, “I saw this a lot in North Carolina also. Never saw it before then as I grew up in Wisconsin. No one knew what it was for in my group, but no one in the group was any kind of outdoorsman, either! Good to know moving forward.”
As that user clearly intimated, the issue of misunderstanding the law isn’t just restricted to Texas. In fact, Missouri has faced this problem before as well, with a man named David Carlisle backing that up. He was a member of the Missouri Department of Conservation, and claimed that some people there didn’t know about the purple fences either.
However, Carlisle still believed the method was a success for the most part. Speaking to Fox 26 News in November 2014, he said, “It’s a really good law. We don’t often see one that everybody can look at and kinda go, ‘You know what? That makes sense.’ And the purple paint is something that’s kind of universal. It’s taking on across the nation.”