Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yeah, I guess I'm THAT guy now

Ippy dippy reuseable shopping bags

Yes, I know have off-white shopping bags I take with me to the store. Yes, I shop at Trader Joe's. *sigh* Yes, I make sure my eggs are cruelty-free... and my meat. NO, I don't have dreadlocks now.

I saw a group of students at SDSU the other day promoting (as you can see by the picture) the Enviro-Business Society, or e3. I was very interested to see what they had going and was considering canvas shopping bags anyways so I stopped by and ended up buying a pair. They are (the bags that is) a little bothersome at first but I always thought shopping bags were such a waste. I consider this a "low-hanging fruit" type of change, one that is easy to implement and stay with.

Anyways, the bags made me feel good, the profits went to a (hopefully) good group of kids, it's a win-win folks. Check out the website and watch the video... it's entertaining to say the least. Also, make sure to click through the media gallery. This group put on a green fashion show that I'm sorry that I missed.

Per my usual M.O., however, I do have a critique...

I'm an environmentalist, I'm very green-minded, and I'm an animal lover, this is pretty well-established among people I know. I am, as well as all that, the son of a financial adviser and, as such, green-minded in a different sense. Business and finance is interesting from a "wow look at all that money moving around" perspective AND a sociological perspective as well. If you want to understand what is going on in the majority of public systems or phenomenon, you need to follow the money. Watch where the money goes, comes from, and moves between and you'll be able to explain a big chunk of how our world works. If you don't believe me, try it sometime and you might be surprised. By the way, this is probably one of the oldest axioms around, I'm not claiming sovereignty over this idea.

Point being, environmentalism has just as much to do with finance as it does with technology and good choices. If you want to know how to make green living a real thing, you have to first make it profitable through innovation and/or creative marketing (either make the value for real or make up a perceived value). An "enviro-business" society seems like the perfect answer to social problem of green living. However, as you will notice by leafing through the site, the SDSU group is just a group of environmentalists trying to raise awareness. This, while being a noble cause, is not the answer. We have had grassroots "save the ______" groups for decades and they don't make a lot of headway.

I donate to Environment California and I'll always pick up a shirt or a bag from a group like this. I sign petitions and, when I feel strong enough, I'll send an email or phone call to a member of congress. I wish e3 at SDSU the best of luck raising the public awareness but I'm just not looking for another mailing list to join.

My advice: contact the Finance & Investment Society and start aligning with each other. Get together with true business groups and start talking about a holistic solution. Branch out and make new connections and start thinking about where that symbiosis can lead. Don't be go down the same route other groups have; we don't need 30 groups saying the same thing, we need 30 different approaches to the same problem. Were a synthetic wool suit with leatherette shoes to a green rally and spread the same message. Embrace the "business" aspect of your name and you might just turn a few heads.

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