Save the Earth by shopping.

No! Just kidding!

But I did just get this in my inbox:

Subject: A beautiful place to spend Earth day
From: Crate and Barrel

I’m going to go ahead and disagree.  I’m not sure I’m going to be reducing greenhouse gas emissions by buying a new couch at Crate and Barrel…even if it is made of sustainable wood…And just out of experience, you have to be careful with those sustainable wood farms.  I studied abroad in the Amazon several years ago and saw quite a few tree plantations on what used to be awe-inspiring rainforest.  We even did a little biodiversity study and found that the varieties and sheer numbers of bird species in secondary (new) forest were quite a bit less than primary (original) forest.

Now while I believe in eco-friendly wares, I don’t think I am “doing my part” (which I think about .2% of the population actually does and I’m not sure I know any of them) unless I’m drastically reducing my consumption (which I could use some serious work on).  I try and do more than what I think I can…I don’t own a car, I don’t use AC, I minimize general energy usage, and on and on…yet I did one of those carbon calculator things and it would still take 3 earths to support my lifestyle for everyone!! I struggle with this at work everyday: convincing people that you can’t just buy a hybrid and say the transportation sector has done its part.  You can’t just put in new windows and say the building sector has done its part. And you can’t be a consumer and think buying the same amount of crap with an eco-friendly label on it is even kind of enough.  It’s better than nothing, for sure.  But we’re beyond that.  We need more. Drastically more.  Or I guess we need less.  Drastically less.

I still think when we buy, we should all buy “green” when it’s available–just in serious moderation.

Happy Earth Day!


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