Having grown up in a house where recycling required soaking glass jars to remove the labels, bagging them up and taking them to the recycling place (all of which my family did a couple of times a month), I can safely say that “being green” for me is much more than a trendy, guilt-reducing state of mind. And living in San Francisco, I’ve gotten used to disposing of three types of waste: garbageÂ (excuse me, that would be “landfill”), recycling, and compost.
But say you want to go green and you’re not quite sure where to start. According to a recent article in the New York Times, there are now eco-concierges who can guide you through the process of switching to eco-friendly cleaning products, finding hair salons that use natural dyes, or buying clothes that are made from organic fibers that are grown without pesticides.
Um, OK. More power to those who want to make the switch and be mindful that there are choices about what types of chemicals we bring into our homes, wear on our bodies, and eat in our food. But I must admit, I’m having a hard time figuring out why this requires paying someone $75 an hour. To be fair, this might be a bigger mind-shift than I realize and it really might require help.
But can’t you just go to the store and buy the cleaning stuff that isn’t full of petroleum? Can’t you Google hair salons that use natural dyes? Can’t you reach for the toilet paper that doesn’t require chopping down rare, old-growth trees? I realize in some parts of the country these options don’t even exist (yet), but in New York (the focus on the NYT article) and San Francisco, options abound.
And in other parts of the country, demand for products/hair dyes/nail polishes/dog treats that have less negative impact on the environment will open up new markets for greener items.