NYTimes: Is Green Consumerism Diabolically Stupid?

NYTimes: Is Green Consumerism Diabolically Stupid?

Maxwell Ryan
Jul 2, 2007

Perhaps, like us, you feel a creeping anxiety about the wholesale "greening" of the American consumer market? Greenwashing aside, perhaps you question the efficacy of "light green" strategies that advocate buying organic Levis, living in an Eco MacMansion or driving a luxury hybrid SUV? If so, this article is for you, Buying Into the Green Movement.

From yesterday's Style Section, Alex Williams digs deep to pull away the bandaid over this problem and examine the differing points of view. Here's a taste...

Of particular note, Paul Hawken (a fave) is quoted as saying: "Green consumerism is an oxymoronic phrase... We turn toward the consumption part because that's where the money is. We tend not to look at the 'less' part. [For example] the fruit at Whole Foods in winter, flown in from Chile on a 747 — it's a complete joke. The idea that we should have raspberries in January, it doesn't matter if they're organic. It's diabolically stupid."

On the other hand, there is reason for hope. Williams' intelligently find the other side of the coin and it's optimistic. Folks polled on the subject of whether or not they considered that their green purchases would save the planet, did not necessarily think so, nor did they think that it removed them from any responsibility. Most of the time, they saw it as a first step in a larger process. It was simply, for them, the beginning of a new mindfulness.

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