Watching the promo video for Owen’s book got me thinking about tough, personal questions. I like to think I’m a fairly environmentally conscious person—I buy local, organic food when I can, ride my bike to the office more often than not and turn out the CFL’s whenever I leave a room.
Still, as Owen bluntly points out, there are glaring contradictions in the way I live. My passion for backcountry skiing and mountain biking has me driving Libby, my aging Volvo manwagon, around the northeast most weekends. I’ve forgotten my reusable shopping bags at home more times than I’d like to admit. In a week’s time I’m flying to Alaska in search of the snow that has eluded Vermont this winter.
Breaking news: it takes a lot of bike rides to the office to offset a flight to Alaska.
As much as I hate to admit it, Owen is right. Many of the innovations we think of as greening our lifestyles actually lead to increased resource use in the long run, as efficiency allows greater consumption. Damn, it’s depressing.
So how do we shake the funk?
The only answer, as I see it, is advocating for the kind of change that co-opts everyone as part of the solution, from the darkest green consumer to the most mainstream American. What better way to do just that than for businesses–who provide for almost all of our needs–to be the solution?
Companies that join 1% for the Planet are the leading edge of a paradigm shift. So pick up a copy of The Conundrum, and join me in welcoming the following businesses who have decided to be the solution: