Pass the Eco-Barf Bag. I’m Going to Lose My Eco-Lunch.

Recently, the prefix ‘eco’ has gained a life of it’s own. Like a Frankenstein’s Monster, it is being mish-mashed onto every conceivable idea, thought, brand, product and celebrity around. It endows a certain sense of Al Gore-ish, environmental correctness to whatever it touches.

In just this morning’s news we have the following examples:

  • “Eco-protesters” are setting up an “eco-village” at Heathrow!
  • Ozarka Water now comes in an “Eco Shape Botttle”!
  • CNN tells us: “Erin Brockovich in new eco-fight”!
  • And a new “Eco-Salon” is opening in Denver. (To help those with “green” hair, no doubt.)

We’ve even had news recently of “Celebrity Eco-Babies” – which I can only surmise means the mums in question here must have become impregnated using organic sperm from certified ‘eco-hottie’ males.

And the list goes on. And on. And on.

And part of me is sick of it. I feel like losing my ‘eco-lunch’ by ‘eco-barfing’ into a reusable, recyclable ‘eco-barf bag’.

But another part of me doesn’t mind. Another part of me thinks that all this is good.

In fact, when I read today’s news about Paris Hilton attending a screening of the 11th Hour (featuring “eco-hero Leo”), I was able to hold down my eggs, albeit with a bit of effort.

Because when they describe Paris and her escapades like this: “Eco-fashion show producer Rob Ganger of EcoNouveau was an eyewitness of the spectacle and said, “It was amazing to see her and think about the footprint that woman has on our lives.” — I know they’re right.

Paris does have an impact on our lives. She’s like a car crash we can’t look away from. A glitzy, rich, prettied-up, jailbird, car crash that we can’t look away from.

But now, for some reason, the media has re-framed her — as they’re re-framing seemingly everything — with a whitewash of ‘eco’.

And in this way, the media is reaching far out past the audience of this blog — or the audience of all blogs for that matter — and they’re presenting ‘eco’ as a new, important value that’s worth reporting on.

The question about Paris Hilton and whether or not she drives a hybrid car is actually critically important — because it’s helping to change how some segments of our society think.

There are literally millions of people who will never read this or any other ‘eco-blog’, but will know all about Paris Hilton and her presence at the 11th Hour screening, her hybrid vehicle dilemma, and probably even which kind of eco-friendly makeup and fashions she wears.

“Eco” has become short-hand for describing the changes we’re going through as a society. It’s become a new value.

More importantly, eco-improvements are news that the media will report. And in doing so, they make an impact on the values of the people who follow the reporting. They impact the values of society as a whole.

And only by changing the values of society can we make the changes we need to succeed in this new, 21st Century.

14 thoughts on “Pass the Eco-Barf Bag. I’m Going to Lose My Eco-Lunch.

  1. Cool article. It’s kind of funny, but you’re kind of right. I’ve been seeing the media use ‘eco’ a lot recently. I’m just waiting or the backlash to start.

  2. Funny. I tried pitching an eco-story to a journalist a few months ago, and she said (paraphrase), “Oh, please. Unless Leo D. starts driving a car powered by his own gas, I don’t want to write another corporate greenwashing article.”

    Beware of greenwashing — most orgs are simple using “eco” buzzwords — but as for actually following LEED manufacturing standards — um, not so much. When companies tout the words “eco, green, sustainable, etc.” — I’m already jaded.

    Green, you might say!

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  4. Despite my abhorrence for all things Paris Hilton, I do have to say this one is kind of interesting.

    I like your bit on values and changing values. But sometimes I wonder how this change in values is somehow different than in Europe and in other parts of the world. Sure there are environmental heroes here, but it seems, and no pun intended, just more organic in Germany. But then again, everything is made to be consumed in America, so why not environmentalism too?

    Thought provoking article, I like it :)

    peace

  5. isn’t there a massive risk here
    that someone who is seen by a lot of middle america
    as the shining gold standard
    for “hollywood bat shit crazy”
    (paris hilton)
    turning “to the green side”
    is just going to convince those middle americans
    that environmentalism is just another nutty west coast fad
    for rich, spoiled celebrities with nothing better to do?
    i mean,
    who else but hollywood can afford the $100,000 Telsa electric car?

    i’m not sure i agree
    that everything in america is made to be consumed.
    everything in america is made to be -marketed-
    (or commoditized if you prefer)
    which isn’t exactly the same thing.

    our politicians have marketed 9-11.
    BP is marketing “a little better”.
    Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are marketing “organic”.
    and as market share in these concepts increases,
    we’re going to see more and more companies
    trying to cash in by marketing something green(er).

    on the one hand,
    this can seem cynical, false and damaging.
    but on the other hand,
    without a radical change in public education,
    how -else- is the average american going to find out
    that these kinds of things are important
    to people -other than-
    anorexic, alcoholic, in-bred, trust fund whores?

  6. Nice Blog Dude*

    how did U find me on Twitter??

    ;) )

    i had to laff at yer Eco Barf Bag* – thass Funny*

    i just spotted DoshDosh here – that is one o thee Best Info Blogs i’ve come across on MBL*

    i’m gonna Link yer Blog*

    thass right expect a Tsunami TechCrunch Digg Tidal Wave of Traffic*

    ;PPP

  7. I think it’s a difficult kind of thing, using celebrities to endorse environmentalism. First, I think everyone should do their part, including celebrities. Also, I think the fact that celebrities are so well internationally published is one way to show that making environmentally-ethical choices aren’t “so bad”. But I think sometimes it can end up being used as a publicity stunt. It’s definitely no surprise that Paris loves the media attention — only she could take a “leaked” sex tape and turn it from being an embarrassment to something else to make her money. While I think celebrities making a change (e.g. Tom Hanks driving an electric car until it was tragically axed) can help with some short-term motivation (e.g. millions of people making a “pledge” during Live Earth), I think they’re too shallow. What I mean is, it can be powerful to have Madonna tell you to try and be more environmentally-oriented, but the sad part is you can’t avoid asking yourself, “but what’s in it for HER?”

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