I just came across an advertisement on one of those eco-blogs I mentioned the other day, claiming “…earth-friendly products to help people consume less…” It’s got me thinking, is this statement true, or even possible?
Can we consume something (i.e. buy a product) that offsets or reduces consumption*? I’m not sure. When I wrote about some of the changes I’ve been making, I realize now that they are almost entirely wither things I do buy, or changes to things usually bought. My new steam cleaner means that I don’t use the myriad of chemical cleaning products found in most homes, and also relies upon reusable ‘helpers,’ like tea-towels, as opposed to disposable sheets or whatnot. And yet, it is made predominantly of plastic, and will break someday — and what of it then? I try to bring into my home products that are non-toxic, non-harmful, less wasteful, and by doing so to support business that seem to be promoting positive and sustainable chance. But are my changes really for the better, or am I fooling myself?
Is the “green consumer” a myth? Or a step in the right direction? I’m not sure. I don’t think that we can completely escape consumerism,and although there are many choices that can be made towards consuming less (like say, just not buying things at all, or making X by hand), can we really achieve sustainable change through products?
*Not the Victorian wasting-sickness kind. Yes, my mind goes there with words like “consumption”.