Tuesday, July 29, 2008

POWERWASHING


Generally speaking, green washing is pretty bad and really dumb. And we’re all kind of obsessed with it and scared of it. And rightly so. BUT.

What if greenwashing was actually, maybe, possibly a good thing?

I look at it this way: we live in a capitalist, consumer-oriented society where success is defined by the amount you can sell. Morals, ethics, human rights don’t really matter. If they did, people wouldn’t get laid off en masse nor would they make things at the expense of their children’s futures. To the government and the corporations, you’re not a person or a customer; you’re a consumer, a vessel through which things and ideas are sold, packaged, and branded. Your purpose is to buy things from these companies, and funnel your wealth to the stockholders. If that wasn’t true, you wouldn’t get a check from the government when the economy was bad (read: enough people weren’t buying enough things) and told to go out and shop at the local Wal-Mart. And to me, our economy is an economic system predicated upon social and environmental inequality and waste, enacted violently against the masses at the expense of public health, happiness, and self-awareness all the while robbing us both of our youth and natural spaces.

That’s probably overly simplistic, and maybe even a bit dramatic… and maybe it isn’t. The point is that if we want environmentalism to be successful, I feel, it needs to be marketable. It needs to be popularized; bought, sold, distributed on the open market just as easily and freely as unsustainability currently is. It needs to dominate economically.

The conflict is that truly green/sustainable/eco-friendly/whatever you wanna call it practices and lifestyles are diametrically opposed to the markets, trends, and boom-bust cycles that gave rise to this sort of consciousness. If that’s so, how can they ever coexist?

No, they can’t.

So, ultimately, our goal isn’t simply to make things green, but to irrevocably alter and transform the way we do business around the world so that we don’t do business, we do life. Green’s not the new black, no, it’s sort of the new Red.

And in order for sustainability to succeed, we have to beat them at their own game and capitalize the shizzle out of our ideas, things, and lifestyles. We have to green-power-wash our society.


That’s why solar panels in the suburbs, hydrogen cars, and organic cotton ain’t worth a damn as a solution to the environmental problems we’ve created. Society has to change through and through, right down to the amino acids for any of it to matter. And when it does, nothing will ever be the same,

Upcycle, please.

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