Don't Make Eco-Perfect Enemy of Eco-Good
Twitter led me to an interesting blog likening environmentalism to religion: “Green Angst: why being green is like being religious”: The Clean Hippie
“This blog is supposed to be about being green and being normal at the same time. But a true environmentalist doesn’t buy anything but necessities. I’m sorry, but I like to shop, to blow dry my hair, to indulge in fried food every once in a while with friends!
“I don’t know how to do this yet, to walk that line. It’s what I’m going to have to work through. And that is what this whole blog is about!”
I couldn’t resist throwing my two cents in on this. Here’s my comment:
As far as being green and being normal — There’s no such thing as a No Impact life. Anybody who has a cell phone, a computer, has a book published, who eats, etc., has an impact. No Impact can only be a euphemism for a Sustainable Impact Life. Check out Daniel Goleman’s Ecological Intelligence. [and check out the series of blogs here about Ecological Intelligence] Most impacts are hidden from us.
Bottom line — there’s no reason you can’t blow dry your hair. Don’t let yourself be hostage to the imagined judgmental reaction of somebody who is probably carrying a fully charged iPhone and laptop, etc., who takes a hot shower, even if he/she only takes public transportation, or only rides a bike, these all cause an Impact.
And enjoy some fried foods once in a while with friends. Nutritional science has not finally determined even such things as the health effects of saturated fats. Just do it in moderation — once in a while. In some restaurants, in a nod to transparency, they’ll even disclose what kid of oil they use. Go to those restaurants — patronizing the ones with transparency is having a positive impact.
We designed Elegant Roots struggling with exactly these issues. ElegRoo Values. Our motto is: Buy Less But Buy Better. When you shop, if you “vote” with your dollars for purchases that align with your values, you will be encouraging manufacturers to improve their products. And you will be rewarding those who are doing good things.
Those manufacturers are often small and they are pursuing a green or socially responsible vision and they need the support. Hence, you’re Buying Better. Supporting the visions of eco and socially responsible artisans/designers/small businesses is our mission at Elegant Roots. And we present their products with transparency, so shoppers can make informed choices. Check out our Designer Profiles. That’s why we present Gifts with Style and Relevance.
We shouldn’t make the perfect the enemy of the good — in other words, take steps to do better, recognizing that no one who is breathing can be perfect. But the better we do, multiplied by, say, a billion, makes a big impact.