Photo: Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr.
The continuous flow of product press releases through the TreeHugger mailboxes is truly astounding, and often inspiring.
After a while, however, a discernible pattern appears: These marketing pitches are all on the same short list of products. Green, sustainable messenger bags, no shortage there. Organic t-shirts, there's a definite glut.
But as we head toward that great shopping holiday of the year, it's also clear that there's a dearth, a really amazing shortage, of some things. So here's one wish list of green goods I'd like to see more of -- add your suggestions in comments and let's inspire green designers everywhere.
1. Hello, Hello Where Are All the Green Cell Phones?
There was a time when the green cell phone revolution seemed right around the corner -- corn-based plastic phones that you could plant when you got a new model.
Yet, something happened on the way to the sustainable cell phone. Forty percent of consumers said they'd prefer a green cell phone, if they could only find one. AT&T; certainly isn't helping, and Motorola dropped their biodegradable mobile.
2. Brrr. Winter Is Here. Where are the Long-Sleeved T-Shirts?
It's a mystery: you can find an organic t-shirt at every turn, from highly design-y, expensive examples to the occasional organic tee at Target. So why is it so impossible to find organic in other styles besides short-sleeved and hoodies?
Babies get long-sleeved organic onesies, and those of us perpetually chilly (and those that never wore those boxy slogan tees anyway) are waiting for manufacturers to take on some other, long-sleeved, and heavier weight styles.
3. When Home Repairs Happen, Where's the Green Hardware?
Looking back at the last 12 months, the number one reason I've needed a car, and the number one place I go on the weekends is not to a romantic get-away, but to the local hardware store.
I try to avoid big box (which has made strides at having green options), simply because it is out of bike range for us, and we love to support our local retailer. Yet our weekend quests for say, a simple nightlight or a box or screws constantly meets the mainstream, not-so-green ethos. Just a cute little green hardware corner store is all I'm asking for, and ready to pay for.
4. Biking Is Sustainable, But What About Bikes?
There definitely ARE choices for green bikes, some beautiful bamboo models that get closer to something we could call sustainable.
But the problem is that at your local bike shop, that isn't the vibe, and there isn't a recognizable green choice. It's great that in cities such as mine, Portland, Oregon, there are lots of choices if consumers go out looking -- but we also need a green Giant bicycles to lead the way for new bike converts who don't want to get into the tech details and just want to buy a green cruiser with green credentials.
5. Beauty is Greening, Beauty Parlors Aren't.
Organic skin care is one of those perennial favorites in the TreeHugger in box. At least one new company a week is promoting their beautifully packaged, impeccably formulated beauty wares. This goes for hair care, too, the choices are plentiful, sometimes mind-boggling.
Beauty salons are a bit of an environmental nightmare. Salons have been slow to adapt as an industry group -- many salons still use shampoos and hair dyes that contain lots of harmful chemicals, and after they are on clients' skin, they are washed down the drain and into the environment.
While there are two "green" salons in a five-mile radius of my inner-city Portland neighborhood, one is definitely not full-service, and the other one is great, has lots of stylists and a nurturing vibe, but is quite pricey. As a walk down any stylish city street proves, people are constantly experimenting with their hair, and the choices for green salons just don't meet the demand.
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