The many shades of green

Not to sound *tooo* smug, but I’ve been at this eco thing for a while now, and it’s been a bumpy ride. Every now and then green goes mainstream, a bandwagon rumbles past, and well-meaning but under-informed hordes jump aboard.

Prompting this reaction is a recent post at hugg.com, linking to a story in The Mail that reveals (gasp!) that a factory in Canada that provides some parts for Toyota’s Prius hybrid is a wicked notorious polluter. “So many plants and trees around the factory at Sudbury in Ontario, Canada, have died that astronauts from Nasa practised driving moon buggies on the outskirts of the city because it was considered the closest thing on earth to the rocky lunar landscape,” says The Mail.

This follows the release this weekend of “Blood Diamond,” which also reveals (gasp!) that the mining of diamonds wreaks havoc on the lives of people in poor countries. To his credit, in an interview on TV, star Leo DeCaprio noted that the film is a reminder not just that our luxury goods come at a price, but that everything we consume comes from somewhere — often from far away, in places that are not well-regulated, and with destructive effects on the planet.

Too often the drive to “go green” turns into just another consumer buying spree. Can we buy our way into a greener world? Well, we can make better choices for the things we need to buy. But we can also just say no to buying things we don’t need. Eat less meat, buy less stuff, occupy less space. Pretty simple, really, and rewarding in so many ways.