The oxymoron that turned green

The term “green building” as it is currently used is a complete oxymoron. It really seems to be a term describing building techniques and materials only slightly better than the status quo. The good side of it is the warm and fuzzy feeling you can get when you purchase one of these homes. Features like compact-fluorescent light bulbs, efficient appliances and sometimes even extra insulation couldn’t be included in a regular home.

I guess what I’m getting at is the whole concept is a bunch of crap. It’s funny how many of us agree on the coming global devastation and are willing to do something about it as long as it does not involve even the smallest sacrifice. Green building is a great way to feel better about yourself and at the same time do absolutely nothing positive for the environment.

The idea that things with a slightly reduced environmental footprint are somehow good for the environment is just good advertising. In order to do my part, I’ve started buying soy milk with the green caps (that means it’s green), burning bio diesel, only wearing bamboo panties—and I bought one of those $95 dollar rain-catchment barrels. If anything can turn the world around, it’s the purchasing power of the American consumer. I’m going to use my stimulus check to buy one of those new green flat-screen TVs.

— Joseph Crawley
Asheville

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One thought on “The oxymoron that turned green

  1. sunny keach

    This is in response to Joseph Crawley’s “The oxymoron that turned green” from the June 4th paper. I agree with what seems to be the main point of your letter “The idea that things with a slightly reduced environmental footprint are somehow good for the environment is just good advertising.” Though, I don’t think you are being very effective in creating any change with your letter. I would suggest, if you are concerned about “the coming global devastation” than you stop whining about what others are doing and you quit insulting those that at least think they are doing good and you become a model of what you believe is the proper way to live and you share it.

    The people you complain about and insult don’t know any better, they don’t get it, what they need is inspiration and education. The best way to help them get it, is do it yourself and share with an open heart what is working and why. Talk up the alternatives, the things people are doing to make a positive change, get involved and juiced up yourself about it and turn people on.

    You bring up “green building”, I understand that small changes can be frustrating to watch when you are holding a belief, that what is needed is large-scale change. But rather than diss on some of the small steps in the right direction, you could talk up some of the great things people are doing. On the green building front, look into micro houses, intentional communities, co-housing, eco-villages, passive solar, living machines, straw bale, cob, bermed, recycled houses, just to name a few. Maybe you already know about this stuff and I’m preaching to the choir.

    Bill Mollinson of Permaculture fame demonstrates well what I am getting at here. He saw how wasteful and harmful humans could be to their environment and rather than complain about it or even protest it, he set out to create positive solutions and he shared them. Now there are Permaculture training courses around the world. There are practitioners, demonstration sites, neighborhoods, and whole communities making a positive change in the world. And it all started with someone who saw complaining wasn’t going to get him anywhere; he got up and did it. Things I am into in my own life, have passion for and share freely with others are raising kids, utility bikes, yoga, alternative building, growing and eating organics, hand drumming and permaculture.

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