The Green Movement was hot for awhile in the first decade of the 21st century. It all started with the simple light bulb. We were encouraged to switch out incandescents for CFLs. Then the movement snowballed. We were bombarded with product ads for renewable resources like cork and bamboo, more sustainable products like glass tiles, and an even better light bulb than a CFL. You couldn’t walk two feet inside a home-improvement store without bumping into a product that claimed to help save the environment. High-efficiency washers and dryers, low VOC paint, double-hung low-E glass windows…the list goes on and on.
And of course we were encouraged to reduce, re-use, recycle.
Then something happened. The Green Movement kinda died.
Correction: the movement itself didn’t die. The message did.
You can still find all those energy- and planet-saving products and more at your local big-box store. But the message used to sell those products has changed. The underlying theme used to be all about saving the planet for future generations. Now the message has switched to accommodate our increasing narcissism and the impatient I-want-it-NOW society in which we live. Forget about saving the planet for future generations that we’ll never meet; my refrigerator’s on the blink now, and the new one I buy better synch with my iPhone, grocery shop for me, and cost me next to nothing. And oh yeah, I wanted it yesterday.
So it would be incorrect to say that the Green Movement died. Better to say that it failed to adapt to our changing times. The words “future,” “long term,” and “investment” don’t always fit comfortably into our vocabulary. We have problems now, we want solutions now. That’s just the way it is.
So rest assured: no matter what product you want or need for your home or office, it’s sitting in a home-improvement store somewhere right now, waiting to save you—and future generations—time, energy and money.
Well, except for that inexpensive, iPhone-synching refrigerator that grocery shops for you. I’m pretty sure that hasn’t been invented yet. But when it hits stores, you better believe I’ll be first in line.