Less Is More?
Writing in today's Guardian (but unfortunately nowhere to be seen on-line), our old friend George Monbiot rips into "Green Consumerism" saying that it never suggests you consume 'less' and only focusses on consuming 'better'. His saves his particular disdain for the well off telling us how to live our lives from the comfort of their country piles (where they have space for their own cow).
As usual I half agree with him. While I agree that most of the 'ethical living' press is promoting the "keep on buying and save the planet" message, there are several ways that you can spend as much as you like and be eco-friendly:
1. Buy second hand. Most of the novels I read have been sullied by other eyes. I have no qualms about walking out of a second hand bookshop with bulging bags of paper diverted from landfill. My partner indulges her clothes buying urges by trawling charity shops and simply returning what doesn't work out in practice.
2. Buy services rather than products. Pamper yourself with posh haircuts, massages (not that kind, cheeky), yoga, keep fit etc, etc. If you're filthy rich, employ a cleaner, gardener etc. Rent DVDs or watch pay per view movies rather than buying lumps of plastic.
3. Buy very low footprint products such as MP3s, ringtones, eBooks.
BTW: my favourite part of the Monbiot article is his reference to the mountain of 'ethical' shopping bags by his front door. We have got at least 4 - 3 more that we need really...