June 18, 2008

Eco BlabbityBlabbity Blah Blah Blah

Maybe it's a good thing I can't have kids if it gets me out of being invited to parties like this one.

{...}Women cradling glasses gather on sofas surrounding a coffee table that holds bowls of chips and M&Ms and books with titles such as "This is My Planet."

Welcome to an EcoMom Alliance party, the earnest 21st century descendant of the Tupperware party.

The EcoMoms are a fast-growing organization of mostly stay-at-home mothers who are tackling such issues as pollution and sustainability in their communities. Started barely 18 months ago by a mother in California, the group's website now claims 11,000 members around the world.

Jones, the mother of children ages 3, 6 and 8, is an EcoMom community leader. Using EcoMom parties, she is forging ahead with an environmental agenda that was in full swing before she found the group. An EcoMom banner hangs from a table in her living room proclaiming: "Sustain your home, sustain your planet, sustain your self."

"I've always been an organic shopper with a chemical-free home, so when I launched my son to school it was hard," Jones said. "Sure enough, he was exposed to pesticide lawns, tables that are cleaned with bleach and junky food.

"If Edina is so proud of being innovative and progressive, they need to get with it."

{...}"I have the urgency from my 8-year-old sensitive son, who comes home from school and says, 'Mom, did you know polar bears swim for days and then drown?' " she said. "When you have kids with these big feelings, you have to do something about it."{...}

If this was my kid, I'd reply, "Son, have you heard of a little thing called Natural Selection?" instead of starting up some eco-mommy movement, which, let's face it, is just an excuse for women to get together to swill wine and eat chocolate. Quilting bees evolved into coffee klatches, which evolved into tupperware parties, which evolved into book clubs, which evolved into politically correct eco-bullshit parties.

What is all of this crap? I'm so sick of this whole "we've got to SAVE THE EARTH! WE MUST BUY ORGANIC! WE MUST STOP DRIVING OUR CARS SO MUCH! WE MUST BRING REUSABLE BAGS TO THE GROCERY STORE!" This isn't a movement per se, so much as it is just another way of saying "I'm better than you are." Yes, that's right kids, it's about vanity. It's the modern-day equivalent of a diamond studded tennis bracelet or a Louis Vuitton handbag. And this vanity is seemingly filtering down into EVERYTHING.

Last night, I was at an organizational meeting for my young ovarian cancer survivors group, and as the entire organization has a fundraising walk coming up, it's been the practice of this group over the years to put together goody bags for all of the survivors who attend the walk---it's a small prize for surviving. This means hitting up any number of companies to see what kind of fun freebies we can load the bags up with. Of course, the pharmaceuticals are high on the list, but the woman who's organizing the thing (and who really is a very nice lady, with her heart in the right place) decided that she'd really like to skip handing out Neulasta bags, donated by Amgen, and try to solicit donations to have our own bags made---ones which would have "Go Teal" printed on then, as a play on "Go Green." Then the rest of the meeting was focused on trying to figure out which organic products we could possibly try to fill the bags with, and how to solicit donations from these companies.

Sigh. Fortunately, no one started up about buying carbon credits to offset this production.

I'm a little tired of all this stuff. Look, I've got nothing against trying to be a little more eco-friendly. After all, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to shit where you eat. I recycle---and have for years. I actually use public transportation. I buy in bulk, and I don't buy products that are encased in loads of packaging. But I do draw the line somewhere---the only organic thing I ever buy is avocados, because they're not rock hard. Organic food is too freakin' expensive for me to buy on a regular basis. While my carbon footprint is actually very small in reality, I don't harp on people who choose to live differently. Ok, well, let's correct that: perhaps I do harp on certain people who choose to drive the four blocks to the store instead of walking, but that's just me seeing it as illogical, and more time consuming to sit in traffic, when I can be up to the store, in, out, and home again in the same time it takes to drive there, rather than tooting my own eco-friendly horn. There's a difference. The women in the article are about saving the earth for "the children" whilst glugging bottles of wine and eating M&M's, as they sort out new ways of bullying people into what they deem is an appropriate lifestyle. And in the case of the goody bags, it's about filling them up with "sustainable" products that fit the fashion of the day, which will be seen as more desirable by the recipients, and produce, ultimately, a more satisfactory result than if we went and solicited Aqua Net for free hairspray.

Gah. I've about had it with this crap.

All of it makes me wish I had a Hummer, that I could drive down the freeway while I throw non-biodegradable trash out the window.

Posted by Kathy at June 18, 2008 10:05 AM | TrackBack

As usual, Kathy, you nailed it!
Not much to add, just wanted to do my part to confirm your wisdom on this topic.

Posted by: BobM at June 18, 2008 10:43 AM
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