Are you tired of reading doomsday articles about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket? Are you annoyed by the “greener than thou” attitudes of people who eat granola, wear hemp trousers and lecture you on Who Killed The Electric Car? Are you infuriated when your compost bag bursting on the way to the green bin spilling rotten garbage all over your lawn? Do you long to set fire to the mountains of plastic garbage bags you have collected under your sink in a massive explosion of noxious fumes? Do you secretly long for climate change to hurry up so we can enjoy lengthy, hot summers where there is nothing but drought?
If you answer yes to one more more of the above, you may suffer from green fatigue.
This modern day, post-Gore syndrome is the subject of numerous articles explaining the symptoms and what to do about it. The Seattle Times recommended the eco-friendly site, www.theidealbite.com, as a way of counter-acting the condition, which is a little like recommending more mercury to a person suffering from Minamata Disease. The New York Times defined the condition as “urgent, vexing, and sometimes contradictory information played at too high a volume for too long.” To turn down the volume on the cacophony of persistent environmental information, it recommended the web site www.simplesteps.org, which breaks down what you can do to help the planet into bite size chunks of information according to how much time you have, whether its a minute, a morning or a month.
One reason for green fatigue is that it’s difficult to know how much is enough. If you change the lightbulbs to fluorescents, should you cut down on your flights as well? If you become a locovore, and only eat locally-grown food, should you also start to grow your own food, like Michael Pollan advocates? And what about today’s news that Googling harms the planet? How are we supposed to deal with that?
Having written a book on cutting down your carbon footprint, I would recommend you ignore the latest figures on the environmental cost of Google, and continue using the Internet. We live in an information economy and if you stop using the web, you’re going to end up shooting yourself in the foot. The best way to tackle green fatigue is to go Green Lite. Take a break from it all and go for a drive. If you still feel fatigued by tomorrow, I suggest you read more tips from this site.