Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Going Green = Spending Green Round 2

Interesting! My last blog entry tagged "Thifty Environmentalism" was about buying less stuff to go green and mostly about carpooling. I was surprised that it inspired many passionate comments justifying the purchase of a Prius. That's the stuff marketing people dream about. They've got you convinced that you needed to buy their product to save the earth and/or reduce our dependence on foreign oil. That's pure marketing genius! Too bad carpooling doesn't have a marketing staff.

I am really getting weary of green marketing. No, I don't want to buy a bamboo fiber T shirt because it's "sustainable" (Note to self: whenever the word "sustainable" is used, watch your wallet) What's wrong with just wearing the T shirt I already have, or buying a gently used one at a garage sale? Here's a list of other things I won't rush out to buy in order to save the earth:

Compact fluorescent bulbs - They do pay for themselves in energy savings and allegedly last for 10 years and I hate changing light bulbs. However, only replace incandescent bulbs when they burn out. By the way, I have had compact fluorescents burn out way before the promised 10 years. What's up with that?

Organic food - Eat seasonally instead. Buy organic when the food you're interested in buying isn't available locally. Local food tastes better, and it's better for the local economy.

Organic clothes - Buy used clothes instead. It's much easier on the wallet and less wasteful, too.

Hybrid vehicles - Carpool instead, or if you need to get a car with better fuel economy, buy a small gas engine car. They're much less expensive.

Recycled paper - Instead of buying more paper, use your paper twice. Set your printer to print out double sided and reduce margins on all printed documents to .75 inch all around. Make stacks of one sided scrap instead of post it notes and clip it to a clip board for notes. But please buy toilet paper that's made from recycled paper! I can't figure out how t


Anonymous said...

Ditto on buying local vs. organic. People freak out, run to Whole Paycheck and spend $50 on a lettuce leaf just cuz it's organic!1!1!11!!!

I wish I could carpool, but it's hard because my hours are 8-3. The only people at my school who live out this way are nuts, so I'd rather drive alone and sing to myself!

Jen said...

There was a great series in the 80s, I believe, called The Tightwad Gazette. It's now been compiled into book form (well, it was many years ago), and it contains tons of suggestions like these. Living frugally is often the best way to be a "green" consumer.

I agree about the buy local stuff, but I also feel that buying organic supports sustainable soil, etc. The fact that organic farmers farm in ways that worked for thousands of years and that do relatively little harm to the earth is what's important to me. So when I can, I buy both locally and organically.