• Program 2007-08

Green Consumerism: Oxymoron or Paradigm Shift?


January 15, 2008


6-8 pm


ABC Home & Planet, 888 Broadway at 19th Street (and Broadway), 10th floor

Lately, everything seems to be "going green" - from TV ads touting eco-friendly products to news articles on carbon offsets and magazines that glamorize low-impact living. It is said that 16% of U.S. adults belong to the $208 billion market segment known as LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability). But at the end of the day, are we becoming a truly conscious society, one that will eventually live in harmony with nature? Or are we simply finding a "guilt-free" way to continue our consumerist patterns. Robert Reich, author of Supercapitalism, claims that the problem partly lies in our own modern self-conception as consumers, rather than citizens. Evan and Freda Eisenberg, in their New York Magazine feature "Greener Postures," describe some eco-chic products that are hilariously useless. Others argue that we're witnessing a sustained and meaningful change: authors of The Cultural Creatives say there are 50 million people who seek "deep, integral change" in the cultures of industrialized nations. This panel will discuss the role of consumers as "green" - are they an oxymoron, or are they leaders on the path to sustainability? Not only will we list steps individuals can follow to reduce their environmental impact, we'll also provide skeptics with business and personal reasons to do the same - so, bring along a skeptic!


Michael Block, CEO, Kinetix [business ecology]


Jeff Cooper, Partner, Creative Director at Groundswell; Wendy Gordon, Founder of National Geographic's Green Guide. Marisa Guber, ABC Home & Planet.;