There's little to debate about the enormous impact our commercial culture has had on our planet. But there is much to debate about how our culture of excess consumerism and materialism can be transitioned into one of more efficient restraint and responsibility.
This week Office Depot, Southwest Airlines, Cricket Communications, and Hewlett-Packard joined the growing market trend against the logging industry's greenwash program, The 'Sustainable Forestry Initiative' (SFI).
What if you woke up one morning to learn that your community had become enlisted to advertise for Coca-Cola? You didn't have a choice. People in neighborhoods across your city were told the same thing. That's basically what happened in the city of Chicago.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative is the best greenwashing that money can buy. That's why so many companies have dropped the SFI label and it's also why the premier green building system, LEED, has refused SFI's many attempts to make SFI certified lumber eligible for LEED green building points.
Allowing large factory farms and other industrial agricultural operations to sell pollution credits to other sources doesn't reduce the overall amounts of poisons polluting our air and invading our watersheds, including the Chesapeake Bay.
Sustainability is a starting point. As a concept it is extremely relevant in our world today and it is by no means trite in that sense. But dialogue about sustainability is crucial to raising awareness and spurring action, and key to transforming our current situation.
I am tired of being told in private that green groups are against biomass, only to find biomass plant after biomass plant subsidized in the name of green energy, and now disguised as "combined heat and power" or merely tossed into existing coal plants.
We need a big idea of how things could be better -- a morally compelling, ecologically sustainable and socially just idea that will not just make things a little better for a few, but a lot better for everyone. And we need to get active.
Two years after the BP oil disaster, I ask for people to help make it right -- in the Gulf and across the country. We have the power to stop BP and the federal government from doing more harm. It is time to exercise our power in our communities.
Advertising could be considered an art of grand hyperbole, but are new car ads the latest brushstrokes on this fanciful canvas or truthful commentary on how far down the road car companies have come to lower pollution?
Hydropower projects need to be based on a balanced assessment of all available options, the full participation of affected communities, strict social and environmental guidelines, and public oversight.