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Going Green: A Truly Visionary Concept, And The Most Annoyingly Overused Phrase Of 2007
Why Trendy-But-Important Causes Secretly Bother Us

Environmentalist: How was your day?
Me: Pretty good, actually. Pretty good. Let’s see…I got to reference the unibrow baby from The Simpsons, so there was that. Plus, you know, I had that really funny one-liner in Jiblets? Oh, and, um, I just finished writing this amazing editorial for tomorrow about Britney Spears’ vagina’s Christmas wishlist. You?
Environmentalist: Oh, you know, the usual. Advocating the sustainable management of resources, and the protection—and restoration, when necessary—of the natural environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior.
Me: Oh, right. That. (Awkward pause).

Besides, there are plenty of small-scale ways we can all contribute. For instance, when I’m accosted by Greenpeace volunteers on the street, I generally let them get through at least the first 30 seconds of their prepared speech before politely interrupting them with “Sorry! I have a meeting.” Plus, whenever I barbecue, I always make sure to have some of those crappy organic Trader Joe’s veggie-burgers handy to accommodate my small percentage of non-meat eating guests. In fact, some of my very best friends are vegans! And I’ve even deigned to meet them for dinner at trendy, meat-free establishments on more than one occasion. Also? As a lifelong New Yorker, I technically can’t drive or operate any motor vehicles but as soon as I get my license, I fully intend to break for animals. And to purchase a solar-powered car—just as soon as they make one that doesn’t have a battery life of 45 minutes and max out at 35mph.

See what I mean? Look, I’m not saying we shouldn’t all pitch in whenever we can, but we don’t really need to be inundated with “organic” this and “ecosexual” that 24/7 anywhere, do we? These days, you can’t even pick up the newspaper without reading about Sheryl Crow lecturing you on how much toilet paper you’re wasting or Larry David’s wife making you feel like a jackass for occasionally flipping on the light switch or (God forbid!) flushing the toilet every now and again.

Because, despite being predominantly lazy and self-involved myself, I have nothing at all against the concept of “going green.” I’m thrilled Al Gore made a long, boring but extremely informative documentary to help raise awareness for global warming and make environmental consciousness trendy again.* No, it’s the gimmicky nature of it that’s driving me crazy. The innumerable celebrities who flew halfway across their world in their private jets to arrive at their respective Planet Earth concerts in time to perform. The waiter at the organic vegetarian restaurant who rejects your polite request for a club soda because, as he tersely phrases it, “We don’t do carbonation.” The fashion magazine that went green for an entire issue before it went back to destroying the rainforests for the sake of raking in more ad dollars and churning out must-read articles about the return of the high-waisted pant.

And it never ends. One of the top stories on Mediabistro today? “November 8th, the Peacock goes fully green as the entire Thursday night lineup – “The Office,” “My Name Is Earl,” “30 Rock,” “Heroes” and “Deal or No Deal” gets an eco-theme.”

Call me pessimistic, but somehow, I find it hard to believe that NBC’s one night of environmentalist propaganda will drastically change the minds of either the people watching at home or the suits in the corner offices over at the powerful (and electricity hemorrhaging) headquarters of 30 Rock. Unless, of course, the briefcases of cash being handed out on tonight’s episode of Deal or No Deal contain packets of hundred dollar bills printed exclusively on recycled paper. In which case, I humbly stand corrected.

*I even sat through most of it.

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Nov 8, 2007 · Link · 1 Reponse

Comments (1)

No. 1
Axeldee says:

Posted: Nov 9, 2007 at 7:57 am

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