It's Not Always Easy Being Green by Gia Machlin, August 13 2009, 2 Comments
What? Blasphemy! How can you say that, Gia? Isn't the whole point of EcoPlum to make it easy and convenient for people to go green? Yes, it is. As a matter of fact, when we were starting EcoPlum in 2007 and brainstorming over a slogan, "Where it's Easy to be Green" was high in the running. We ended up going with "Where it Pays to Buy Green" and I'm glad we did. The truth is, some things about going green are easy and some are not.
There are many things that are no brainers: turn off the lights, recycle, don't idle the car, turn the water off while brushing your teeth - easy. Other changes may require a little bit of effort - remember to take your reusable bags with you when you go shopping, take shorter showers, print on both sides of the paper, turn in your old cell phone for recycling.
Then there are things that are a downright pain in the rear end: trying to find organic strawberries when the regular strawberries are displayed so prominently and attractively in the front of the produce section, resisting the temptation to buy shiny fun new school supplies for my kids when I know last year's pencil case is still perfectly usable, and my favorite, running around town trying to find a place that has a water fountain or tap water after I've forgotten to bring my daughter's reusable water bottle out with us - those "disposable" plastic water bottles are looking really good right now!
Joel Makower, executive editor of Greenbiz.com says in his blog that mainstream consumers won't change their habits until green is the easier, better, no-brainer choice. I hope that is not the case. Have we gotten that lazy and self-centered as a society? I mean, we don't just throw our garbage on the street, we make the effort to walk to the corner and throw it in the trash can. We don't run red lights or cut lines at the movie theater just because we are in a hurry. So why do we not think twice before taking home our groceries in those horrible disposable plastic bags?
We need to get to a place where it's just not acceptable to generate waste at rate at which we do, even if it is a little inconvenient. Kermit was right after all, it's not easy being green. I chuckled when I read this post in Marketing: Green that says "behaving responsibly can be a pain in the ass." But he is so spot on! I'd really love it if you would share your stories with us about some frustrating (and possibly comic) experiences in your journey to go green!