Broke Saving the Earth
the age of Pricey Hybrids and Organic Cotton designer wear, is
being eco-friendly just a new hip trend for the uber-rich?
The original earth lovin' mamas and papas are starting to feel
the squeeze, as a new breed of wealthy eco-warriors take center
at the heart of it, environmental issues are not really moral
issues, they are economic issues
wearing a disguise. Have you shopped for Organic Food lately?
That's right - you'll
get a nose bleed calculating the the cost for one pound of organic
through a catalog touting all organic clothing, brightly dressed
models smile as they are, of course, happy to be saving the earth.
I couldn't help wonder what type of families can actually
afford to dress
this. How many people will shell out $89 for a hemp
hoodie, or $59 for a baby natural fleece.? Sure, a true eco-gal
can make do with a smaller wardrobe, that is quality and or vintage.
However, I do like to shop, and even
mode, I start to worry. I park the catalog to the side, as I'll
shred it later for 'shipping stuffing' - but it will feel good
to grind up the smiling eco-models. The nerve. $89.
the neverland cable channels, I final settle on a show about
Earth Friendly Design. Chic green designers have hit the scene,
and have no shortage of business.
Flaunting their huge commercial stores in New York and Los Angeles,
any eco-conscious person can waltz in and fab up their home with
green wares. What they forgot to mention on the show, is that
you must be a direct heir of the Vanderbilt fortune to afford
any of it. Organic hemp slip covered armchairs, start at $3,090.
shampoo, only $25 for 8 ounces - on my 90 pound Golden Retriever,
this may be good for two washes, if that, since she would probably
try to eat the pricey goo.
I stroll my mini-cart through the grocery store, I push the question
of 'Can I afford to be eco-friendly!?!' to the back recesses
of my mind. Sure, I can recycle, bring my own
bags to grocery stores, buy local,
buy vintage, but I feel downright hostile when I pay through
the nose for my organic Californian grown avocados. I can
buy avocados from Chile, heck they are much cheaper, and probably
have no pesticide on them anyway. However, picturing the little
green fruits 'put-putting' across
the ocean on a smoke billowing tanker to the United States,
undercutting hardworking American farmers, these avocados are
sullied and have lost their cheap appeal. I feel guilty, and
itself out up and down every aisle.
start to feel a wee bit dizzy, when Eco Mom then whizzes down
the aisle with her tot in tow. She is just as dedicated and determined
abandoned the mini-van, and money is no object.
if Eco Mom can
Eco Mom changes the subject, and asks the child to count to twenty
in French. She loads up on organic salads, organic salad dressings,
organic soups, organic
organic paprika and organic 49-grain-bread without so much
as looking at prices. She checks out with her stash of perfectly
grocery bags in hand.
realize that the only difference between myself and Eco Mom,
is that I agonize over half of my purchases due to price, and
my canvas bags are a little smelly from the apple juice that
last week. Leaving with two bags of organic and fair-trade groceries
for $95, I
It was worth it, but I wish it were easier.
scowl at Eco Mom as she zips off in her shiny new hybrid with
a KPBS license plate frame -- indubitably off to save the world
at a faster and hipper pace than I.
a website dedicated to promoting businesses that are eco-friendly,
Happyhippie.com has launched a new page called
In March 2008, Happyhippie.com is also launching a new blog-style
section called "Affordable Eco Shopping", which will contain businesses
hand-picked for eco-friendliness, and affordability.