Eco-friendly products are all the rage right now. I just picked up the latest copy of Domino Magazine (which I happen to like quite a bit because they often feature kitchen makeovers with Ikea cabinets that are affordable and oh-so-cool and give me hope that some day, I, too, can have a kitchen without red stickers on the backsplash that cover ugly vegetable tiles from 1979) at my sister’s house and the entire issue is devoted to companies and products with eco-cred. Want to feel better about yourself? Buy recycled bamboo plates instead of paper Chinet. Want to shed the guilt of driving a gas guzzler to the mall? While there, stock up on eco-bliss such as Alpaca slippers or CD storage boxes made from recycled cotton in the rural outskirts of Delhi. Does anyone else think this all seems a bit ridiculous? I’m all for doing my part and trying to ease up on the earth (see previous entries with details of six months of consumer-free living), but, at the same time I readily admit that I’m a sucker for smell-good, look-good, feel-good stuff that claims to be made in a responsible way. But really…do I need a water-powered digital alarm clock to ease my consumer-driven guilt?
Marketers have tapped in to this new found green craze and are eager to sell us their wares. Rather than eating all of this up, perhaps we should all just take a step back and ask whether we really need it in the first place. Yes–if you’re out to purchase something that you do need, then by all means, go green, baby. But if you, like me, are feeling sucked in by the tractor beam of savvy marketers out to take our money just because we’re trying to be responsible citizens, then keep in mind that sometimes, by NOT buying, you’re doing way more to save the world.