When you look around, the ‘green’ choice sometimes seems 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? As opposed to ‘purchase’.
Certainly there are better consumer options available than there were, such as buying ‘Fair Trade’. 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-wrecking system that exploits the non-renewable raw materials of the earth. Our economic system is built on the fallacy that we can continue to use our capital assets as 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 money which is taxed by governments to further their economic objectives and the objectives of their controllers, with its unavoidable side effects of environmental and 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.
Anything less is a compromise.
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 truly ‘green’. Often those whose cultures are naturally sustainable in resource terms, like the Kalahari Bushmen or the Masai, like the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin, 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.
Given that being truly ‘green’, or behaving in a completely sustainable way can invite persecution from a system in which this behaviour is still deemed unacceptable – joining the Transition Movement is a compromise in the right direction.