Yes, we CAN shop our way to sustainability…
If there’s one thing I hate more than zombie climate myths (eg “the world hasn’t warmed since 1998”), it’s daft green pronouncements taken as gospel when they’re clearly nonsense. I say daft, but some are worse than daft as they close down the routes to sustainability.
My (least) favourite recent example is this one from Evgeny Morozov in the Guardian:
Big brands have been dabbling in practices such as “greenwashing”, convincing customers that buying their green products is the way to fight global warming.
Errr – how else are we meant to combat global warming? I buy renewable electricity and biogas from my energy supplier, I buy logs for my wood stove, I bought extra insulation for the attic, I bought a solar hot water system and an efficient boiler, I bought triple-glazed windows, I bought a bicycle from a bicycle shop, I try to buy seasonal veg and other low impact food – it goes on. As I don’t actually produce any of my own stuff, bar a few herbs, I rely on companies providing such green products and services to reduce the impact of my lifestyle.
There’s even more to it than that. Every time someone buys an electric vehicle, a solar PV system, or even hires a green taxi, it strengthens the supply chain for those options and weakens traditional, carbon-intensive markets, making the low carbon version more cost-effective for others.
Whether at home or at work, let’s ignore the half-baked wisdom of people like Mr Morozov, spend the green pound with pride and do our bit to build a sustainable future for all.