Green Overload: 5 Green Products We Don't Need More of


Photo: annnie via flickr.

At TreeHugger, it seems every week there's a press release for a new line of reusable bags or organic body care.

Don't get us wrong, we love reusable bags in snappy colors and organic skin cream promising miracle results -- but at times it's a bit discouraging that we wait in vain for other less marketable advances -- like green packing tape, for example.

Here are five green products we probably don't need any more of. Add to or dispute the list or tell us what we do, in fact, need more of in the comments.

1. We're Swimming in Reusable Bags



Baggu has cute bags, no doubt. Photo: Baggu.

The first few reusable bag designers were more than welcome, and we chronicled them individually in the pages of TreeHugger.

But now we're awash in reusable bags, and rather than bags, what we really need is more states to pass effective "no plastic bags" legislation, and more strategies on how to have reusable bags with us at all times.

The best bags, I've found, fold into pouches with a carabiner or clip so that at least one or two are always in the bottom of your purse.

2. Organic Body Care, Who Can Resist It?

Photo: Vadim Lavruski via flickr.

Those pretty, smoky-green glass bottles from Aveda, that beguiling super-expensive serum from Marie Veronique, those wonderful aromatherapy scents wafting up from the organic grocery's growing personal care section....it's hard to say no.

Enough already! You can mix your own body creams and lotions, or try to find brands that do refills.

We don't need more brands of green body lotions, we need legislation that gets harmful chemicals out of all our personal care products, especially those we might be using on our children.

2. No More "Green" Driving Machines

Photo: Michael Cavén via flickr.

So it is with mixed feelings that I say this, but do we really need another electric car? It does seem cruel to bash the hybrid and electric vehicle market when the first electric LEAF just got delivered to its proud LEAF owner, and the industry is just gearing up...but...

As many a loyal TreeHugger reader has said in comments, electric cars are not going to be green unless we truly make the choices to get our energy supplies greener, which we seem powerless in the face of the fossil fuel lobby to do. That makes the onslaught of EVs merely a panacea for our problems rather than a truly sustainable travel solution.

4. Recycled Crafts Are Piling Up



Recycle record bowl. Photo: queen puff puff via flickr.

Every fabulous DIY crafter out there needn't stop what they are doing -- I love the recycled billboard bike bag I have, the recycled-nylon computer sleeves I just bought for an Xmas present, and the recycled-paper waste baskets in my kid's room.

It's just that recycling of materials for crafts doesn't increase recycling rates, and we have to keep creating markets by offering small deposits and having producers take responsibility for their waste. California has proved that -- the state's rate for recycling of aluminum cans has risen to 82% during this economic recession as people have realized anew that bottle deposits mean there's money in their bins.

It's great that human ingenuity and creativity have created a thousand ways to make jewelry and accessories from tire scrap. We just need more ways to link that ingenuity to real steps forward in waste management.

5. Not Another Green Organic Cotton T-Shirt, Please

Photo: quinn.anya via flickr.

I guess the theory is we all have at least a stack of t-shirts in our closet, so another one, this time an organic cotton t-shirt, is just what we all need. Or maybe it is proven that all 300 million Americans, regardless of their race, gender, or political affiliation, buy 10 t-shirts each year, and they might as well by a 100% organic t-shirt.

I agree with the reasoning, and I'm all for organic cotton, the most popular organic fiber, but I'm tired of talented designers spending time on t-shirts. What we need more of is organic underwear, organic bras, organic socks and organic pijamas, organic sheet sets and organic mattress covers -- products very difficult if not impossible to find.

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Tags: Conspicuous Consumption | Dematerialization | Greenwashing | Product Service Systems