The message that our environment is in peril has filtered from environmental groups to the American consciousness to our shopping carts. Every day, millions of Americans dutifully replace conventional produce with organic, swap Mr. Clean for Seventh Generation, and replace their bottled water with water bottles. Many of us have come to believe that the path to environmental sustainability is paved by shopping green. Although this green consumer movement certainly has many Americans consuming differently, it raises an important and rarely asked questionis this consumption really any better for the planet?
By examining the major economic sectors of our society, including infrastructure (green housing), consumer goods (green clothing), food (the rise of organic), and energy (including solar power and the popularity of the hybrid car), Green Washed: Why We Can't Buy Our Way to a Green Planet explains that, though greener alternatives are important, we cannot simply buy our way to sustainability. Rather, if it is the volume of our consumption that matters, can we as a society dependent on constantly consuming ever be content with buying less?
A new and unique take on green consumption, Green Washed shows how buying better is only the first step toward true sustainability.
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About the Author
Kendra Pierre-Louis is the Sustainable Development Editor for Justmeans.com. She holds a Master’s in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont. She has created outreach material for the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on Biological Diversity and worked as a researcher for Terrapin Bright Green, an environmental consulting and strategic planning firm.
Table of Contents
Introduction – The Disposable Society
Part I – Greening the Infrastructure
1. Chapter 1: How Clean is Your Canteen?
2. Chapter 2: Greening the McMansion
3. Chapter 3: Highways and Byways: The Rise of the Prius
Part II- Greening Power
4. Chapter 4: Biodiesel
5. Chapter 5: ‘Clean’ Coal
6. Chapter 6: Seduced by Solar
Part III – G Living: The Luxurious, Fabulous & Sustainable Life
7. Chapter 7: Green is the New Black: Eco-Friendly Fashions
8. Chapter 8: Green & Clean: Green Cleaning Products
9. Chapter 9: Eco-Jewelry: A Marriage of Values
10. Chapter 10: Greening Cosmetics
Part IV – More Than Just Food
11. Chapter 11: Organic Inc
12. Chapter 12: The Rise of the Urban Homesteader
Part IV – The Way Forward
13. Chapter 13: Limits of Personal Consumption
14. Chapter 14: Towards a Cultural Shift