…. another post about green that isn’t really green and how we all need to change our thinking and consumption patterns…and yes I am not perfect …..
My previous post on rare earth minerals got me thinking about the fact that transitioning towards a greener and more sustainable economy by focusing on technology, resource and innovation may not necessarily be the best option, especially when:
- The new and innovative technologies end up increasing our dependence on resources, albeit, new or different ones.
- The new and innovative technologies result in dependence or impact that is merely dressed up in different possibly green-washed and even organic new swag.
- The new and innovative technologies result in an increase in unnecessary consumption often due to green wash and unsustainable trends.
Keep in mind that not all new and greener technologies are unsustainable. What is important is the manner in which we make the change to newer technologies, and the quantity and quality of the new technologies that we buy. Merely buying the newest and greenest technology will not make you greener and in fact may make you guilty of unsustainable and unethical consumption patterns.
It is very important that when we make our “green” choices we consider the entire impact and not merely the superficial impact that we would like to see? Unfortunately, and much to my dismay I am guilty of this in many respects. So I thought as my good deed for the day…..I would share some of my green fails with the hope that I could prevent someone else from going down the same route.
My most recent “goody two-shoes green delusion fails” are;
- Falling for a new high-tech gadget and upgrading my iPad to the latest version, that isn’t really that different from my previous one? From a functionality perspective I use the new one for exactly the same purpose as the previous one. The question is did I really need the new one? and was the overall cost of the upgrade really worth it?
- Less paper use and waste by reading eBooks, magazines and online news,
- Note taking, report editing and emails on the tablet = less printing of emails and reports and having an easily transportable and accessible library of documents that I need during the day.
- Unnecessary use of resources and rare earth metals used to produce, package and transport my new tablet: think ecological footprint etc
- The iPad 3 has a higher carbon footprint that the iPad 2. (http://ecolibris.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-green-is-new-ipad-part-6-comparing.html#)
- Waste: landfill / recycling and disposal costs associated with the previous tablet. (though, I did try to offset this cost by up-cycling the old tablet)
- Green Retail Therapy: I recently bought a whole new batch of solar fairy lights and garden lights. The new solar fairy and garden lights were marketed as being greener than the previous generation of solar lights etc. … so despite that fact that I already have a few pretty solar fairy lights twinkling away in my little garden and the fact that I don’t need more lights in my garden, I bought some more.
- At least I didn’t buy conventional fairy lights that would increase my use of electricity generated from coal.
- Unnecessary use and waste of resources that were used to produce, package and transport my new ”green” lighting.
Ultimately, these two examples are a large-scale green fail on my part that has sent my ecocred plummeting, despite the fact that I didn’t send the old iPad or fairy lights to a landfill.
I didn’t really need a new tablet to do exactly the same things that my previous tablet did. Neither did I need additional fairy lights., …even if they were solar-powered and therefore greener than conventional lights.
I was just a greedy little wannabe wanting to have the newest and shiniest gadgets. Gadgets, that are being marketed as green, that maybe a bit faster, prettier etc , yet barely have enough new features to outweigh the environmental and social costs of the new gadget or technology.
Not everything that is green is sustainable!
Additional reading to up your ecocred!