When you look around, it seems that ‘green’ is just another colour of consumer capitalism. Often it is the more expensive option in a choice to buy goods. Somewhere along the line corporate consumerism has already hi-jacked many of the real intentions beyond being ‘green’. Surely recycle, reduce, repair and re-use are the essence of the green message?
Certainly there are better options in buying ‘Fair Trade’ for example but there are many who now question just how fair any ‘trade’ with third world countries can be in the context of the international banking and ‘free trade’ system we have. In reality to be ‘green’, one should let go of all attachment to money and close one’s bank account. In reality the green option here is local trade and exchange with local produce and without the use of money. Even the most ethical of banks is still part of an earth-destroying system that exploits our capital assets, the raw materials of the earth, as a form of income.
In reality, being green means letting go of your job and refusing to use petrol at all. Almost all employment is also part of the same economic system that exploits people and planet for the profit of a few, and the payment for this employment is money – which is at the heart of our problem in creating a sustainable earth.
In reality, being green means not buying anything at all. It means making, growing, mending or exchanging goods and avoiding the exchange of money which is taxed by governments to further their economic objectives and the objectives of their controllers, with its unavoidable side effects of planetary degradation.
In reality, being green means turning off your gas, your electricity and your water supply because the systems that deliver these to you are also entrenched in the earth destroying systems of consumer capitalism.
Promoting, even suggesting such options in today’s world is not realistic. In a world controlled by fear of terrorism, any kind of extremism or radicalism is seen as dangerous and anti-social, a threat to the system. And when the system itself is the problem? What then?
There aren’t many people who are actually able to be green. Often those whose cultures are naturally sustainable in resource terms, like the Kalahari Bushmen or the Masai, like the indigenous peoples of Australia or North America, are persecuted and forced into unsustainable systems in which they have to earn money to provide for themselves and their families.
Being a ‘green consumer’ is rife with hypocrisies and although, to an extent, it makes for a good conscience it is still little more than a fashion statement, a colour of consumer capitalism.