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Green Shopping: An Oxymoron or True Benefit?

Posted Oct 30 2008 3:20pm

There has been a recent surge in the popularity of green shopping. Several online stores have emerged, none of which impressed us. So we at 'I Dream Of Greenie' have our own fabulous green shopping site in the works! Unfortunately, there has been some talk lately about how "green consumerism" is an oxymoron, because true greenies would simply consume less rather than buying more. While reducing ones consumption is one of the true cornerstones of environmentalism and the green movement, and I am all for it, the need for green goods still exists and will continue to exist. Here is my argument:

1. Green is going mainstream, finally. In the past, living green was reserved for hippie, all natural types and environmentalists. ( We have a deep love for both hippies and enviros btw.)Now the amount of "greenies" has multiplied 1000 fold. Mainstream greenies want to help and will do something, but they will not grossly modify their consumer behavior drastically. Not overnight, anyway. This group will be buying something, so it may as well be green.

2. The general public wants to make a contribution to help combat climate change. Human nature is to help. But what can they do? They are not big environemntal lawyers, nor do they sit on the board of the NRDC, or have the ability to testify at the Bali Conference or at Davos. They are Joe Q Public, and their contribution will be much smaller in measure. Perhaps they will use the services of OZOCAR company, a hybrid only car service in Manhattan vs. yellow cabs or buy organic chocolate or wine. So be it. They want to be counted. Let their contribution count.

3.Green products have very significant benefits OTHER than helping the environment. If I stop consuming bottled water, not only do I reduce the amount of waste in landfills, but I stop consuming water that has potentially has plastic leached into it. If I buy organic baby clothes, not only do I help prevent harmful chemicals in the soil and protect our planet, but my baby is not snuggled up in a cotton onesie that has presticides all over it (cotton has the highest concentration of pesticides vs. foods). If I insulate my home more, or buy compact fluorescent lightbulbs, not only am I consuming less energy which is good for the environment, I am saving money, which is a HUGE incentive. Going green has both monetary and health benefits associated with it and we need to acknowledge those benefits as valid and meaningful.

4. Joe Q Public does not want to sacrifice quality and style for the environment. And you don't have to! Top designers have answered the climate call, so to speak and have created beautiful ready to wear clothing, personal care products, hotels, home and garden products, makeup, toys, and the list goes on and on! Do I really have to wear 10 year old Berkenstocks and hand-me-down sweaters to care about climate change? I think not, and I belive that if you want to appeal to the masses, you need to have something that is beautiful and tasteful and compliments the identity of the wearer.

Intelligent people of the world understand that they are not reversing global warming by using Tom of Maine's toothpaste and wearing organic T-shirts. But each small action become part of a larger one that ultimately leads to a more responsible corporate environment, one that works with nature rather than against it. And that ultimately what its all about. Hey if our leaders can't get things under control, the world population can unite by spending our hard earned dollars on things that send a message and do some good.

For me, these arguments are super compelling and I can't wait to launch our fabulous eco shopping web destination, which will be chock full of info and products that can benefit the planet and its people, and to the naysayers I say "poo poo on you!" More details coming soon, stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read more!

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