Green Is Not The New Black.


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More than a few times now I have seen the slogan “Green Is The New Black” on products ranging from t-shirts to reusable bags to bumperstickers, and it does not bode well for the future of the environmental movement. Sayings like this tend make it seem like it’s a fad to go green; as if in 2010 it will be out of style to care about our surroundings and what we can do to improve our world. Will the new thing to do then be to throw more trash on the ground? To dump our own toxic waste into local streams and rivers? To buy even bigger single-commuter vehicles? I sure hope not.

photo by by wonderferret

I understand that it is a marketing gimmick, but it is one that we certainly do not need. I would almost rather have someone not care at all than only care when it’s convenient because who knows what that person says to others or does when no one is looking. If they are using “green” as something to make themselves look better to others instead of truly caring, how does that benefit anyone at all? It really doesn’t, which is why I don’t like to see such important matters turned into witty slogans that do nothing to promote the agenda.

You know what are “The New Black” items for today? Suduko puzzles, Crocs, oversized sunglasses, and reality TV shows. These are things that can come and go and have zero net affect on anything other than our brain cell activity. But trivializing the efforts of so many who do what is right for the planet just to sell a product as a fad? There is something really wrong with that. When I buy a new product, I do try to buy the “greenest” version that I can, whether it be by checking a thrift store first to see if I can find it used or buying from a company like Patagonia that tries it’s best to be sustainable and honest about it’s practices. But I do not need my shirt to loudly proclaim “I’m Green!” to try to impress upon others that I too am participating in the latest fad like them. Green is definitely NOT the new black.

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  1. Well put. I also hate the notion that “going green” is the latest thing, a marketing ploy, almost as much as I hate the notion that “being green” means spending more money on elitist products. And the general public is experiencing green fatigue; “going green” was voted one of the most overused terms of 2008.

    I forego the whole notion of going green and instead say that I am trying to be more responsible. Making decisions based on information, forethought and personal ethics: isn’t that the way we should live our lives anyway? Environmentally sound practices follow as a natural result.

  2. I think you have it wrong on the fashion part. I always understood that basic black is always in- so when things are compared to that it means longevity and back to basics. On the other hand I totally agree that a lot of the ‘green’ marketing is overdone and suspect. Many products tout green when they are not. I think green marketing will die down naturally as products get cleaned up.

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