The Ad says it all "Is your home green? Want it to be?...moderng*eenliv*ng.com... my house is smarter than yours"!!
Hemp t-shirts, holidays in eco-forests (what are those, aren't all forests "eco"?), biodiesel cars ( don't they pollute as much and increase food prices to top it off?).. take your pick, just pay a premium for the "green" tag.
Married with so ubiquitous a consumerist society that we don't even see the hypocrisy or irony of our actions. What can you do to save the environment? "Buy a Prius" it seems. I got this sarcastic soundbite from an article on the freegans in the NYT
Freegans in urban United States
The freegans are a community that basically lives off the fringes and throw-aways of a consumerist society
Umm... I certainly wouldn't meet them even half-way in terms of opinion but they certainly have a point.
One might easily be tempted to call the freegans parasites but they aren't. That they CAN live off cities' refuse doesn't mean they have to. Their way of living is sustainable and scalable to a point. In an enabled environment, they can immediately move to locally produced food and environmentally friendly housing, furniture and other items for living made within the community. And at its peak they might resemble some sort of a marriage between the Amish and Marx in a modern and liberal setting. While the majority seem to lean far far away into the left, you can see that they're educated, middle class younger people who're not doing these to be parasitic but to reduce the impact of society on the environment. My understanding of this comes from as simple a gesture as sharing the half full bottle of tide down the line insead of hoarding it. And while the left is always at the forefront of such campaigns, everyone can in fact be partly freegan simply by watching what you throw out and watching what you buy. Given that the fashion world couldn't possibly survive if people don't throw out last season's clothes or the automobile industry or the electronics industry... developed countries especially can build better, tighter reduce, reuse, recycle regimens.
I don't buy the argument of "exploiting resources" though. There is a certain price we pay for being who we are. Physics experiments take up enough electricity that could power cities for a whole year in minutes... are we gonna stop progress in physics then? How about stopping space exploration, the billions of tons of fuel that go up in...well .. smoke? Or giving up progress in nano technology, metals and materials, even garment technology because we don't like nuclear technology? Fashion stimulates and so does research in finance.
Another example of popular consumerism masquerading as environmentalism
Are people so stupid that the don't understand that globalisation is so entrenched that even if the t-shirt says "Made in Downtown LA", the cotton comes from Egypt, the dye from China and the rubber for printing from Malaysia and its worse to import all these including that large percentage which will inevitably be waste. Moreover its economically harmful for poorer countries if you import the raw materials and export finished goods and that is a throwback to colonial imperialist times?
Instead people with a voice can lobby for better public transport, faster and better trains instead of letting airlines proliferate, policy toward de-centralisation of the food market and encouraging local foods, policy that favours power from renewable energy, advertisements directed at children etc.... These issues do not restrict the pro effects of capitalism such as enablement of entrepreneurship but help reduce the irresponsible consumerist aspect of capitalism.