I’m perusing the catalogs again to get ready for appointments. One obvious trend I’ve noticed across the board is a movement toward “green”, be it living green, thinking green, buying green. Often the title will be something like So-and-So’s Awesome Guide to Living/Thinking/Working/Loving Green. The catalog page will have a big dot that says “Printed on Recycled Paper!” This reminds me of a Simpsons episode where they’re touring the Springfield Shopper factory and Lindsay Naegle says that a percentage of each newspaper is printed on recycled paper. Lisa, spotting some phony business-speak, asks what percent and Naegle’s response is zero. “Zero’s a percent!”
It’s not that I’m against the green movement. It’s more that I’m wary of the way in which companies are now marketing towards this movement, as if simply buying something “green” will make you a better consumer. Replacing everything in your house with organic products won’t make you more environmental. People should try and do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint especially those in the US and Europe. Read Jared Diamond’s Op-Ed piece about first world countries’ consumption factor which is 32 times higher than the third world.
This all sort of goes against what I do for a living, selling a product based on chopping down trees. I’d like to see the publishers move to printing all books on recycled paper. Also, they should print fewer galleys and quit sending so much wasteful marketing materials—posters. pins, bookmarks—that end up in the trash anyway. I’m not sure how to go about making this happen.