Sustainability is a Lifestyle, Not an Accessory

Witold Rybczynski bemoans the green movement's emphasis on sustainability measure that treat environmental action as a process of accessorizing rather than changing lifestyles.
September 17, 2009, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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He calls out LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) as being a major cause for this mindset because of its emphasis on simple checklists to determine whether environmental standards are being met.

"The problem in the sustainability campaign is that a basic truth has been lost, or at least concealed. Rather than trying to change behavior to actually reduce carbon emissions, politicians and entrepreneurs have sold greening to the public as a kind of accessorizing. Keep doing what you're doing, goes the message. Just add a solar panel, a wind turbine, a hybrid engine, whatever. But a solar-heated house in the burbs is still a house in the burbs, and if you have to drive to it, even in a Prius, it's hardly green."

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Published on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 in The Atlantic
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