Lots of people are hopping on the green bandwagon these days. Eco friendly products are appearing all over store shelves, even at Walmart. You can buy cheap, environmentally friendly good and you can buy designer eco friendly products. It’s quite a change from just a few years ago.
But is it a good change?
It is and it isn’t, in a lot of ways.
It is good because it means more people are thinking about the environment as they shop. It’s good that more goods are being made from renewable resources. It’s good that more goods made from recycled materials are available.
It’s bad in that it is nothing more than a way to show trendiness for a lot of people. Being eco chic is just another kind of consumerism in many cases. The thoughts are heading in the right direction, but they just haven’t gone far enough.
It’s bad that as a trendy lifestyle some people aren’t as committed to the environment as they want others to think. They’re talking about it, but they aren’t doing. Aren’t cutting back. Aren’t planting gardens. Aren’t enjoying simplicity.
It will be interesting to see how things go over the next many years. Will eco friendly products be more or less popular? Will more people understand that you need to consume less, not just change the types of things they consume.
It is good that the current popularity of being eco friendly means more interest in things that can make a big difference. The trendiness of finding alternative energy sources gives us the chance that they will become more affordable and practical in years to come. That’s wonderful.
It’s good that businesses are realizing how much more environmentally friendly practices can save them in some areas. Not in all areas sadly, which is why products will continue for some time to be made in ways that have a high environmental and human cost.
It’s good that with the introduction to being eco friendly as a trend more people will recognize in time that there’s more to it than buying a dozen organic cotton sheets. That they need to reign in their habits as consumers.
But it’s bad that so many figure that because they’re buying eco friendly, they can keep on shopping. Keep on consuming because, darn it, they’re doing something good for the environment, right?
It takes time to get the lesson across that even eco friendly has an environmental cost. That the cost is less than conventionally produced products, bu that it isn’t zero. It’s not a happy lesson. But it’s vital.