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.