Wanna be Green? Don’t Buy Green. Buy Nothing.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 12, 2009
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What changes the world more—keeping your shopping cart empty, or shopping ethically with your hard-earned dollars?

Self-righteous, uneducated hippies love to tell me (because they know I publish something that has something to do with the environment, and yet is supported by…advertisements) “Y’know, if you really want to be green, don’t buy anything!”…then, they give me a smug smile, turn around, and go their merry green ways, shopping for groceries, driving their cars around, wearing clothes, forgetting to shower.

It drives me crazy. 

You know what I think? Be green. If you are green—that is, you care about the effect your actions have on the earth—you’ll naturally 1) buy only what you need and 2) you’ll buy mindfully-sourced, quality goods that last a long time.

That’s why, though I’m vegetarian (190 pounds, full of energy) I still drink milk half the time…because I figure (correctly? who knows) that buying organic, free range milk is helping change the market more than buying soy. And I care more about the lives of dairy cows, which have some intelligence (though not enough to rise up in rebellion against we cappuccino-drinking masses) than I do fields of edamame (soy).

Rant over, excerpt (that makes the opposite point) begins:


Taboo Talk in Green Business: Buy Less Stuff
Source: GreenBiz.com

Talking to consumers about buying less stuff just might be the third rail of green marketing. Reducing or limiting consumption is antithetical to marketing, or at least it has been so far. Practically no one seems to want to go there. I’ll accept my portion of responsibility. In the late 1980s, when I penned The Green Consumer, I helped…
…read the rest, here.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


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