Magazine article E Magazine

Shopping Our Way Green?

Magazine article E Magazine

Shopping Our Way Green?

Article excerpt

Leave it to Madison Avenue to turn all the newfound public interest in the environment into a shopping trip--and a pricey, one at that. I suppose it's the only wax., environmental protection can be permitted to exist alongside capitalism, which has to keep consumers consuming (even what we don't really need) ill order to keep flourishing for the fewer and fewer who benefit.

It goes along with the other trend I find irritating, this tendency to place an inordinate amount of responsibility on the individual, making it all about "personal choice" rather than about the need to sign the Kyoto agreement, reduce emissions and otherwise pass laws and change policies that negatively impact the environment. In his December 10, 2007, speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, Al Gore touched on this, saying: "We must abandon the conceit that individual, isolated, private actions are the answer."

I was thinking about all these books and websites that offer tips, tips and more tips--and "10 Ways" to do this and that. "If only everybody would dry their clothes on the clothesline instead of in the dryer we'd save blah, blah, blah ..." Well, they are going to exhaust their tip inventory soon enough and have to begin really drilling down: "10 Ways to Not Run the Water While Brushing Your Teeth!" You could write a whole book about it ... and sell that!

I'm sorry, but "everybody" never does anything, unless compelled by rules and regulations. There is nothing wrong with laws that mandate environmental behavior. If I were an innkeeper I wouldn't place all those cloying little signs around: "It's up to you, but if you hang up your towel and make your bed instead of throwing it all on the floor, we'd save blah, blah, blah. …

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