Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on March 4, 2008
Of all the new jargon coming atcha from the green space – emissions trading, Chelsea tractor (UK slang for a gas guzzling SUV) and blackwater (that’s the water effluent, not the snipers) to name a few – my new favorite has got to be the “eco-poser”. Don’t play dumb. We all know one. Heck, there may be one looking back at us in the mirror.
A recent article in Alternative Consumer warns of this new breed and lists 13 ways to spot them. Their on-the-money observations include those who have “solar panels installed on the ‘weekend’ house but leave the engine running on the Range Rover when they ‘pop’ into Starbucks for that latte” as well as the people who have “a ‘Made in China’ label sticking out of their 100% jute gladiator sandals”. And then there’s the sort who writes “for an eco-friendly blog, but refuse[s] to fix that dripping faucet in their bathroom”. (I know what you’re thinking, but I called the landlord three times, asking him to take care of it.)
Here are a few eco-posers that I’ve noticed: the ethical fashionistas who wear so-called “recycled” fur coats, those who gloat (and bloat) over drinking (GM) soy beverages, and the happy hybrid drivers with an aversion to carpooling.
But the Alternative Consumer piece also got a little personal, making a couple points I had a problem with, like the eco-posers who “fly thousands of miles to Hawaii and Bali for global warming conferences on the private jet and tool around paradise in a limo…Al?” — and “they do a documentary on global warming and then fly around the globe chasing eco-tail…Leo?”
Leo chasing tail, eco or otherwise? Give me a break. It’s more like “take a number, ladies. I’m a hot actor with an enviably enormous social conscience”. And while I’m not privy to Al’s alleged limo fetish, let’s not forget that this man has single handedly created the tipping point, possibly the most important moment in recent history.
I guess what I’m trying to say can be best paraphrased by Live Earth producer Kevin Wall (who is obviously not biased in any way): “If you do nothing, you are safe. As soon as you do something, you are up for criticism.”
And finally, there was one I didn’t get: the eco-poser who’s “on both the mailing list for PETA and the Victoria’s Secret catalog”. What are they saying exactly? After much pressure from ForestEthics, the latter is now printed on recycled paper. Which leaves PETA. What are they doing wrong? I thought their newsletters were made from recycled pet dander or something… Or have they combined the two and now feature dog’s dressed in sexy bras?
Whatever the case, we thank the Alternative Consumer for helping alert us to the eco-posers. Just please don’t be too hard on us. (I mean them.)