While visiting my family today, I walked in on Discovery’s Green channel, with a show on the best “green” homes on the planet. My future sister-in-law voiced the exact thought that was on my mind — all this media attention on their water heaters, cooling systems, expensive solar panels, and you’re still watching people living on expansive tracts of lands in homes so much larger than they need. All of this focus on how they spent money to go “green”, environmental consciousness is just the new trend for those who can afford it. It’s the latest shtick to sell people more stuff.
The harm in this message is that it makes people feel guilty for not doing what is out of their reach. We can’t all buy solar panels, but we can afford CFL’s . We can’t all install ground-air-circulating cooling systems, but we can open our windows and turn on the fans instead of cranking the A/C all the time.
The truth is, a lot of the very things that help our environment are not only very affordable, they are MORE affordable than the alternative. Using less electricity, making use of more reusable goods instead of disposable, cooking with more fresh produce and less eating out and frozen meals – all of these things keep the world clean and save you money. It’s approachable, it’s achievable, and it’s a message we all need to hear more of.