Urbanites, Do your green cents always make sense?
In the City of Angels, sustainable living is a part of daily culture, if not socially mandatory. For average, well meaning types, a basic list of ingredients proves the integrity of a green claim, whether it’s a recycled or new finished form, or service.
Since there are no labor labels or carbon emissions disclaimers on products, the inquiring consumer must dig deeper to uncover the true green level of products or services claiming to be a friend of the environment. When digging, one may discover happy rainbows, or an I.O U. on a post-it. (See link at bottom of page)
Last year, TerraChoice Marketing found that only 2% of companies making green claims were actually valid. Intentional “greenwashers” or offenders who are getting rich off of your conscience, have included Shell Oil and the Clorox company.Not too shocking. According to the Climate Counts scorecard, top green achievers include Southwest Airlines and UPS, leaving Jet Blue and FedEx in the ozone, respectively.
True win-wins in the repurposed materials game are often seen in building and new construction. Take the Sustainable Sky-Box. This multifunctional gathering place, out of Amsterdam’s Architehten, is a prime example of best use of upcycled materials—it is made entirely out of reclaimed sinks, and doubles as a rainwater collecting hub. Building code standards enforcement including LEED, have pressed this industry to expose information and force developers to strive towards achieving emissions gold standards.
Being a green consumer creates a happy, fuzzy, chi vibe in Los Angelians, which may even inspire their spending rationale. Green-chic furniture, such as the $425 burlap sack-covered ottoman from Gus Design Group (with a Canadian manufacturing home base), is an inspiration for taking a staple gun to a thrift store find. Good design is worthy of our good money; but connecting with the yang part of green fantasy is a valid part of considering your commitment to actual sustainable lifestyle choices.
Not everyone is handy, or has time to shop smart. When buying green, we may be participating in a concept, instead of a reality. More time, energy, emissions, and money may be exerted in upcycljng a product, than in producing green-looking items out of new materials, to create the same outcome.
Here in the city, we want to be green. We are willing to pay more for it to help the cause. Or at least attempt to.
L.A. is the simmer-pot of green. We exist in many shades, and on many levels of buy-in..
As informed consumers in this delicate economy and shriveling ecosystem,
Urbanites can make an impact every day, — just use your greenbacks wisely!
Green Business Sector Scores: http://www.climatecounts.org/scorecard_overview.php
Kalina Noelle, Urban Lifestyle Examiner , Email: [email protected]