Green Versus Greener – A New Take on “Eco-Snobbery”

I recently discovered the site ecosnobberysucks.com, created by green writer and social media expert Jeffrey Davis. He says he wanted to create a site that offered an alternative to living as an “eco-snob” to those who wanted to make living greener a more natural process.

The site defines “eco-snobbery” as when people don’t recognize the significance of every step…be it big or small.

The site says eco-snobbery could also play out when:

– People look down their noses at others for not doing “as much” as they do. (OK, thoughts like these have passed my nose, but I fully embrace celebrating small steps)

– Businesses make their operations or products seem more eco-friendly than they really are. (This kills me)

– Manufacturers charge an unfair “eco-premium” for products that don’t warrant it. (That really sucks)

The site references a recent article that talks about using the term “greener” versus “green.”

“‘Green’ is an ideal that very few things actually achieve — something that is 100 percent completely environmentally and socially sustainable. “Greener” is any step taken towards that ideal. So an organic T-shirt is greener because it still requires energy and resources to produce and bring to market. A leaf falling off a tree onto the ground is green, for obvious reasons. I think it’s dangerous to conflate the two because it dilutes the power of something that’s truly green and makes it all too easy for someone to claim the mantle of pure green based on a small step taken in the greener direction.”

I really like the idea behind this article. “Greener” allows for the applauding of small steps, without watering down the meaning of what it is to truly be green – something you’d have to be living in a grass hut to truly consider yourself. Personally, I am always working toward “greener,” toward “better.” And I think that if some of the larger corporations presented there sustainability initiatives that way, we could get rid of a lot of “greenwashing.”

Some of the best advice I’ve heard lately, when frustrated over so many people still being wasteful, a friend said, “When the women’s rights movement and the civil right’s movement started, they were very small, fringe movements. It takes a long time for change to take place on a larger level!”

If it really is all about the small steps, then we have to embrace them. Gay people have won the right to fight openly in the military, we have a black president, and women are heading up congress and corporations. Maybe in 50 years composting will be as normal as brushing one’s teeth, and all this eco-snobbery will simply be passe.


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