Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's Not Easy Being "Green"

First, I’d like to apologize for all the frivolous posts yesterday but I was swamped with work and that left little time for any actual writing. The Times is a continuing source of inspiration and no other newspaper comes close to tackling all the same topics. “A World Consumed by Guilt” is quite excellent. For a while I’ve been extremely suspicious of so-called “green products” especially in fashion. Isn’t there something so ironic there? Going green is supposed to represent a new era of consumer responsibility but fashion itself is so superficial. If anything, “green” turned into a trend, something that will merely be replaced once the next great thing comes along (that is my prediction, anyway.)

Our generation has been made to feel guilty about everything in the world. We’re the “Guilt Generation.” Well actually, we had nothing to do with the way the world has been shaped. The past generations, our parents and grandparents, are to be held accountable but we have to bear the burden of their excesses. Everyday I have to worry if my coffee is organically grown and if it comes in a 100% post-consumer fiber cup. That’s not to say that us young people are not responsible for propagating these problems, but I firmly believe that we are not the cause of it. Instead of re-examining our lifestyles, the ones that have been taught to us by our elders, we are just encouraged to relieve our guilt by buying more stuff.
It's much easier to just shell out some dough for soy-based jeans than to work out a viable, long-term solution for the environmental problems plaguing the world.

It all sounds wonderful in theory: buying products that are pesticide-free, undyed, and untreated. But the truth is much much uglier than that. As the article points out, our global economy has made it almost impossible to avoid shipping, which leaves a considerable carbon footprint. Many of these raw materials have to be processed in such a way that leaves behind chemical waste. So it's a lose-lose situation pretty much, except for the designers that charge 6000 bucks for a dress made out of old rags.

No comments: