Today’s Washington Post has a wonderful article decrying "green commercialism." Greed in the Name of Green, by Monica Hesse, has an even more poignant subtitle: To Worshipers of Consumption: Spending Won’t Save the Earth. After showcasing a number of ridiculous green products that environmentally-aware consumers can purchase, Hesse quotes Paul Hawken (formerly of Smith & Hawken):
"Really going green," Hawken says, "means having less. It does mean less. Everyone is saying, ‘You don’t have to change your lifestyle.’ Well, yes, actually, you do."
Yes, we do have to change our lifestyle. We can’t just buy our way to a healthier environment or a cleaner conscience. It requires a real change – not just in what we buy, but in our buying altogether. We have to buy less, consume less, waste less, a proposal that goes against just about ever fiber in our American consumerist being.
FYI, I made a similar argument a few months ago in a post critiquing the selling and buying of so-called "carbon off-sets," Carbon Offsets: Good Stewardship or Grand Scam?