The message was seemingly clear. If we would only swap Mr. Clean for Seventh Generation, switch from old light bulbs to compact fluorescents, and start schlepping our organic groceries in reusable bags, we could reverse the damage we’ve caused the Earth and heal our ailing planet. But according to sustainability expert Kendra Pierre-Louis, our commitment to shopping “green” is only a small first step toward righting our environmental wrongs. In her eye-opening new book Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet, the New York-based environmentalist thoroughly examines the rise of organic food, green housing and clothing, solar power, and the hybrid car before persuasively concluding that the true path to helping the Earth is not buying “green” but buying much, much less. Pointing to America’s growth economy as the main culprit behind our unchecked consumption, Pierre-Louis ultimately advocates for adopting an alternative system that doesn’t pit “our short-term well-being against our long term survival.” In honor of Earth Day, we recently spoke to Ms. Pierre-Louis via email about nature in New York City, the “IKEA effect,” alternative economies, the importance of community engagement, and how she plans to celebrate today.
If after waking this morning you noticed a palpable buzz in the air, fear not for your senses do not deceive you and your coffee is not to blame. Today is simply a big day. As you are almost certainly aware after three weeks of non-stop poetic feasting, National Poetry Month is still going strong. What’s more, today is Earth Day, and when two celebrations of this magnitude converge, the resulting super holiday demands proper commemoration. Thankfully, we have the wonderfully unique poetry collection News of the Universe with which to mark this worthy occasion. Whether you’re looking to motivate your first reducing, reusing, and recycling efforts, to renew your vow to live a leaner, greener lifestyle, or to simply read some breathtaking poetry, News of the Universe is a book that will leave you awestruck and inspired.