Tuffin by Jane Oriel
Sometimes green marketing makes me hostile. The worst offender is the brand If You Care. The combination of condescension and judgment in the name of this line of biodegradable baggies and plastic wrap infuriates me. I care, OK?! I am in this aisle looking for biodegradable poop bags. Don't make me feel bad that sometimes I use plastic because plastic is free and I care about my budget too.
That's why I think it is fascinating that a 2010 study showed that people are more likely to cheat and steal after buying green products as compared to buying conventional products. The phenomenon is called compensatory ethics, the finding that "virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behaviors." So, instead of posting about how you can green your dog's life and risk a crime spree, I am going to pass along my favorite quote about living sustainably from our local bioregional poet and naturalist, Gary Snyder, "The most radical thing you can do is stay home." It's so simple, so big, and so doable. And it reminded me of these dog paintings that artist Jane Oriel recently shared on her facebook page entitle "No Place Like Home."
I am pro Earth and pro Earth Day. I just think it's important to be conscious of unintended consequences of marketing guilt and shame. That green stuff is still stuff that someone is trying to sell you that you might not need.
A few weeks ago my sister stopped by our local co-op and asked if they carried If You Care biodegradable poop bags. The salesgirl shook her head apologetically and said, "We did, but the biodegradable package they shipped in fell apart and we had to give them away." What a waste.
Althea by Jane Oriel
P.S. Did you know the word radical comes from the Latin word for roots? I hope you have a radical Earth Day and you get to spend some time at home with your pup this weekend.
P. P. S. This post was inspired by Rebecca Solnit's 2008 Orion Magazine article "The Most Radical Thing You Can Do."