Personal Redemption, Child Protection, And The Coming Green Retail Boom

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Have you noticed how the common green denominators are changing in American society? Keeping kids away from the Chinese Junk is the latest trend. But, there's more going on than meets the eye; and, understanding the role of personal redemption is key to understanding what is coming at us.

For example, people continue to support curbside collection of recyclables in part because it is one of the most widely available means to 'offset' the guilt of buying water bottles and other "un-green" items. Recycling has played as a "nega-comsumptive" social act in other words. So embedded in our sense of community is recycling, as a shared value, that cable talk-show hosts rarely criticize it.

As the cache of buying bottled water slips, markets will change, and the redemption value of curbside collection might be reduced in consequence. But, not to fear: it looks as if we will have plenty of green shopping opportunities to further redeem ourselves if that happens. Green shopping suddenly is everywhere.

There is a strong personal risk management dimension to the coming green shopping boom. Buying green is already being profiled as a way to avoid the hazardous Chinese Junk and keep the kids safe and healthy. The more free-market focused the US Federal government is, the stronger this market force for individual redemption and protection becomes. What tangled shipping lanes we weave.Here's what a story in the Christian Science Monitor had to say on importance of avoiding the 'chinese junk' (our term, meant metaphorically):

Toyportfolio.com, an independent consumer organization. Her company opted not to publish its popular annual toy guide for the first time in 15 years, since it couldn't guarantee items wouldn't be recalled. After testing the award winners, 13 percent of 44 toys came back positive for excessive levels of embedded lead...

Not mentioned in any of the print media coverage we've seen: the lead won't have to go to the landfill if you don't buy Chinese Junk in the first place.

As for signs of the green retailing boom, we noticed the Weather Channel was hawking green goods on TeeVee yesterday. Today's forecast- a green storm approaches.

The LA Times has a long story on green retailing. They quote Deborah Barrow, founder of TheDaily- Green,


"a Hearst-owned online environmental guide. "But we live in this world, and this world has people who are heavily invested in a consumerist society and yet they're more and more interested in going green.""

LAT further points out that:

Home Depot on Wednesday offered tips for celebrating the holidays in green fashion, including improving a home before guests arrive, decorating it for the holidays and selecting the ideal gifts.

Others also are getting in on the act. Target Corp. devotes a section of its website to "eco-friendly" merchandise, though it's a year-round endeavor, the company says.

That's similar to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s green site, which highlights the world's largest retailer's own environmentally sensitive products.

Barneys New York's new catalog, titled "Have a Green Holiday," offers gift cards saying, "Green Is Groovy," "Join the Green Revolution" and "Save the Planet."

Here's the money quote (sorry for tooting our own horn a bit):

For those who still want to consume, however, even serious environmental groups, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Treehugger.com, have gotten in on the guides with their own versions of green buying.

Didn't know TreeHugger was "an environmental group???" Perception is 9/10's of reality I guess. Maybe it's just from posting about serious things so often? Whatever.

If we're a serious 'group' as LAT infers, then I guess it would be good to close on a serious note. Climate change has not entered the green US shopping equation. Until there's a C02 footprint label it's not going to happen. If it does happen, then we'll write a new post about the "The Grinch Factor: Greens Destroying Christmas." Unless Mr O beats us to it.

And, be sure to check out the TreeHugger "group's" green gift guide for some real serious fun.

Via::LA Times, "Eco-friendly consumption? Critics don't buy it" and via::CSM, "Parents Cope With Season of Suspect Toys"

Image credit:Asia, 2002, Chinese Junk

Tags: Recycling | Shopping

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