The hypocrisy of the green movement

“Environmentalism”, Mr. Torres said, “is becoming this issue of, consume the right set of green goods and you’re green,” regardless of how much in the way of natural resources those goods require to manufacture and distribute.

“If you ask the average person what can you do to reduce global warming, they’d say buy a Prius,” he added.
~“Not Buying It,” The New York Times

The greenest product is the one that is never produced in the first place.

So why is everyone trying to sell us a bunch of crap?

I suppose if I was in the market for a new laptop I might be interested in a Macbook. But my desktop runs just fine (albeit not nearly as energy efficiently, but I can tweak that). Clorox Greenworks? Aside from the fact that I fully believe it should be renamed Clorox Greenwashing, as “natural” doesn’t mean shit, why do you need to buy cleaning products? I clean my apartment with water, vinegar, baking soda, and elbow grease. I can get vinegar and baking soda a lot cheaper than I can buy a Clorox product. And if you buy one Clorox product, you have to buy all of them, since they supposedly each only clean for one task. So you have a separate cleaner for the floor, the carpet, the countertops, the windows and mirrors, etc. And don’t start me on “antibacterial.” That could go for days.

But the carpet shampooer. That one really gets my goat. Not only does it get the goat, it fillets the goat and then eats it with Worcestershire sauce. But Life Less Plastic beat me to it.

I think it’s pretty easy to say why the big corporations are getting on board with the green movement: profits. But why is the green movement itself getting on board? Why isn’t the Sierra Club telling Clorox to fuck off? Well, that’s profits, too, but you’d expect the Sierra Club to at least have some standards.

That’s the big question…why? Whywhywhywhywhywhywhy?

Because it’s easier to throw money at something than it is to actually care.

Because it’s easier to buy a fucking tote bag and appear green than it is to actually make the lifestyle changes necessary to actually be “green.”

Because Americans have become nothing more than consumers.

We’re never taught to be anything else. We’re never taught to be human. We’re never taught to be authentic. We’re taught to consume and consume and consume and that who we are is based on the products we buy.

If you buy expensive products, you’re rich, even if you’re up to your ears in debt and won’t have the means to pay it off in your lifetime.
Buy green products and you’re green, regardless of the environmental impact.

And the green movement just goes along with it.

“But selling tote bags and making them ‘trendy’ might get people to quit using plastic bags at the grocery store.” It might. But that’s not the fucking issue. And a lot of those tote bags are made in China, from what appears to be plastics. And what will happen to them when the fad ends?

I’m not knocking people who use totes. Hell, I use them. But I didn’t buy them, either. Both of them were given to me by people who weren’t using them. And if I forget them and find myself in the store? I just grab as few plastic bags as required to take my purchases with me. I don’t need even the tote if I only buy one item. I don’t buy a new tote if I forget because the resources needed for one of those damn things is greater than those needed for a plastic bag. I won’t die or lose my “green” status if I take a fucking plastic bag every once in a while.

My point is that the tote bags are a symptom of the disease. They’re cheap, available, socially significant, and allow us to pat ourselves on the back without actually having to work at something. The “green movement” at it’s best.


One Response to “The hypocrisy of the green movement”

  1. Dargon Says:

    Plastic bags are good for cat litter. That’s what I use them for.

    And I recall that carpet cleaner. Know which one is more environmental? The one I rent from the store and bring back when I’m done. No telling how many carpets that thing has cleaned, and how many carpet cleaners didn’t have to be made due to that.

    As you are rather aware, I’m not all that “green,” in fact, I tend to by the kill the environment stuff because it is cheaper. None the less, it would not surprise me if my usage of the kill the environment stuff ends up being more “green” than the fad greenies, since I buy less and use more sparingly.

    This part about buying things reminded me of the Ozy and Millie comic, “I find if you want…people to help with something, it helps to let them do it somewhere they can brag about it.” “There’s some sort of lesson here, isn’t there.” “I sure hope not.”

    The trendy greenies make me want to burn down a rainforest.

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