Fish, barrel, gun

Ethical Living MagazineI do wish my nice organic box scheme wouldn’t assume that I’d like to read a copy of Ethical Living Magazine just because I am too lazy to buy my veg in a supermarket.

It’s a very nice, well-meaning magazine, printed with organic dyes on paper made out of recycled hippies but the poor darlings really cannot think. Ok, I am lying about the dyes and the paper, but the printers apparently have a wormery and a cycling initiative, and I couldn’t make that up.

Here are a few gems:

Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation is “made from pure crushed minerals [and] contains no dyes, harsh chemicals, fillers or oil”. Oh no. It’s made from soft minerals like, er…. well not the nasty harsh sort like flint or caustic soda.

From the letters page, a correspondent quite reasonably describes the difficulty in dealing with the increasing levels of carbon in the atmosphere, saying: “the carbon cycle is fixed and the influx of hydrocarbons [into the atmosphere – ? – AB] cannot be reversed by planting trees”. This is certainly what some of the current research suggests. However the editor replies: “where emissions are unavoidable we use carbon offset projects to help balance out the impact” quite missing the point that her correspondent is making. Planting trees is nice in all sorts of ways and probably a Good Thing. Some of my best friends are trees. However a worrying amount of current research suggests that trees do not, in fact, reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The editor does go on to “accept that the terminology may be misleading”. Bless.

I was rather struck by the jeans made from 99% certified organic cotton and 1% spandex. Oh, and they are £134. Which kinda sums it up really. Being green is really expensive. And if we are going to get the kids interested, we’ll have to use spandex.

However, it’s not the ludicrous cost of the things they advertise which irritates me, it’s the abuse of language. Oh, and the fact that saving the planet is going to require lots and lots of really coherent thinking and a damn good evidence-base.

On t’other hand, they do have an advertisement for which appears to be an organisation selling handbags made by women who have escaped from human traffickers. Since I’m not immune from woolly thinking myself, I intend to get my next bag from them.

3 responses to “Fish, barrel, gun

  1. Sometimes you don’t know if it is a fashion to be green or a down right necessity. It almost seems like it is an elitist high society pastime that we ordinary mortals can’t participate in. I try to be as green as I can, I don’t own a car and go places by bike and by bus and train. I recycle and have energy saving light bulbs, but I can’t afford those jeans and just have to buy a pair that come from somebody’s unethical, unecologically sound sweatshop. I don’t talk the lingo, shame on me! Will I still be a viable member of this very ecologically conscious society?

  2. Who’s greener, me walking to work in my cheap Uniqlo trousers, or Them (as in Them With Money) , driving to work in an SUV in ethical Spandex? Me buying British apples, Them buying Fairtrade mangos? Help, help, I don’t know! But I do have a green-versus-thrifty ethical meltdown practically every time I go shopping.

  3. You’ve both put your separate fingers on my point precisely.

    Irene, rest assured, you are far far greener because you seek out ways to be green rather than adopting it as a fashion.

    Reed, I think you are greener, to be honest. Mangos are abominations in this country anyway – they should be eaten ripe and no more than a few miles from where they were picked. Ideally, they should be eaten naked in the bath, as my mother was made to eat them when she was a toddling child.

    Thank you both for reading and for taking time to comment.


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