Global Environmental Fail

There I was, innocently watching TV, and the commercial came on:

Kleenex bathroom hand wipes: Clearly marketed as an alternative to hand towels.

It took about 10 seconds, and then I was yelling. “Fuck you, Kleenex! Fuck you for using the fear of germs to kill more trees!”

Here it is, I thought. Here’s how, despite the Comfortable Western World trying hard to go gentle on resources, Kleenex will get people using more primary resources. And, fuck it, people are scared of germs. They will believe that using paper towels (which these are) will protect them from disease. Sorry, trees. Humans need to feel safe. Sorry, Green Movement.

But then (and I have been thinking about this for awhile) who really buys into the concept of ‘green’? Middle and upper class folks from first world countries. People with the choice, because we have the money.

People who have to count every penny are not going to buy paper towels for their bathrooms, in Arkansas, Anatolia, or wherever. They have towels that work fine. Poor people all over the world are probably not going to buy disposable bathroom hand towels.

In addition, think of the people who work in factories in China or India. Many of them work just to get the money to live. How much do they care how their dollars help the environment? How much do they care that their work may harm the environment? Not a lot, because they can live, from month to month. Recycling? No. Eco-sourcing? None of that, either.

Over the entire world, all the people, how many of us are consciously doing things to help the planet live? It strikes me that it is only, really, the privileged few, and the other (sometimes very poor) few, whose lives are so local that they do not rely on very much other from outside their worldview.

We who have the choice are such a small percentage. How are we to save the planet?

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