Sunday, November 15, 2009

Green(ish) Festival

After 3 (or 4) bars worth of Clifbar, a couple months worth of raw and fair trade chocolates samples, and multi-little-compostable-cups of organic soy milk, shade grown coffee, acai and unknown good-for-you liquids, I am finally back home from so called Green Festival which is "the largest sustainability event in the world" (according to the Green Festival website) and aims to educate and to share the skills and solutions to build more sustainable future for the communities - well, sounds like a pretty good thing, doesn't it? Truly, theme of "green" has become new black in this country - it never goes wrong with any occasion - and of course, I, as an environmentalist, am very supportive for this movement though the level of impact of each "green-ing" can vary.

And, this Green Festival, I think, is a great idea to introduce what can people do to reduce there negative impact on the environment to those "green" beginners. However, I felt something very uneasy about this tactic most Americans believe in. Yes, it is better buying an organic cotton t-shirt than one from Old Navy. It is better eating a vegetarian dish than a quarter pounder from McDonald. It is better using reusable shopping bags than getting plastic bags every time you go to Safeway. All is true, but the question is that "does this really make a sustainable future?"

Many food/beverage vendors had thousands and thousands of disposable cups, plates and napkins for tasting - of course, almost 100% are made with compostable materials that is "so green to be true". But, wait, didn't we hear about some problematic issues of producing and disposing of compostable materials?

Some were selling "sustainable bamboo fabric" products such as clothes, towels and bags. Many people know that bamboo is more sustainable resource than cotton because of the growing of bamboo requires less chemical, less labor, and less environmental impact. But the manufacturing of bamboo fabric is a totally different story. And they still sell bamboo fabric products as sustainable products?

Many eco-product vendors give away thousands of their samples in tiny packages and color printed materials. Some even come with free shopping bags with their logo on. Most had deals such as "buy one get one free," "50% off from retail price," and others all shoppers always love to hear. But wan't it the over-producing and consuming and what made our society so unsustainable?

Green has become new black - and is it just another way to roll this capitalism society? Isn't there something we need to think more than making and consuming alternatives? Though our civilazation has been developped dramatically by always finding and inventing something "better" to replace the old ones, we ended up having this fatal environmental crisis which we cannot do anything to reverse, but to slow down. Since when we stopped thinking, but buying? Can we live sustainable without changing our unsustainable life style? Is "choose Green-er things" the only solution we come up with? If so, The Day After Tomorrow is just around the corner.
[Image from The Day After Tomorrow (2004)]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Noriko! I have to say this post is really good!! Not only the English, but also the writing style is very clear and concise! It's even better than other blogs written by native English speakers! How you wrote about the Green Festival and explained your insight about the future of Green being Black is very excellent. Especially the ending part. I completely agree that if "buying our way out" is the only option, then we probably won't be able to prevent climate change. I think the most optimal answer to the question of solving our eco-crisis would be "being satisfied with what we have, not with what we WANT to have." But we'll see if society can pick up this change of thought in time.

12:37 AM  
Blogger sheeep said...

Thanks Al! Clearly, I had a lot to say about the Green Festival although I was really looking forward to attend before. It made me almost sad people with bag-full of samples and products they were selling, and green/blue/black cart-full of waste the attendances were creating... By the way, thanks for evaluating my writing even still now! haha

1:01 PM  

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