I speculate that some of the momentum behind the latest organics
movement in consumer products is motivated by a counter culture reaction
the preponderance of technology permeating our everyday lives. True
there are those of us who believe in preserving the Earth’s biosphere
for future generations and the survival of humankind but I propose that
most American consumers do not consider this when purchasing.
The corporation’s interest in organics and renewable and sustainable
products can only be motivated by corporate self-interest and policy and
only to the point of self-sustainment for said corporation. If making
and/or selling “green” products does not lead to corporate destruction
then it can be assumed that those corporations that embrace organicism
do so out of self interest, perhaps forseeing profit in the trend, and
possibly out of environmental motives. Whether the fact that it
increases a company’s positive public image is the primary objective or
bonus consequence of said policy shift is open to debate and no doubt
either is true in different cases.
But on a consumer level perhaps it is even a subconscious reaction to
the everyday imposition of cell phones, pagers, email, computers,
satellites, television, portable music players, etc. that prompts the
popularity of organic foods, renewable and recycled building materials,
and other more sustainable options. This opposes the idea that future
self-interest and global interest motivates such changes and proposes a
more personal motive such as an unconscious desire to balance the
technoloigical with the natural, thus creating a kind of psychic balance
in the individual. Personally I believe my motivations tend towards
global environmentalism but sitting here in front of my computer I
cannot help but wonder. However as I am a skeptic and a bit of a
pessimist I cannot reasonably conclude that there has been a massive
global awakening, especially due to the fact that most consumer products
are still not available in such form, and those that are sought
specifically by consumers such as myself are difficult to find and
costly to purchase compared with the widely available 1950s-founded
petroconsumer culture-derived standard alternative.
Is the day dawning when corporate charters will adopt a zero-impact
approach to the biosphere? Will individual consumers demand products
that leave no negative environmental impact? Ultimately our present way
of life is unsustainable and will require a drastic shift in doctrine.
Whether that shift is gradual or sudden is up to us and the only planet
we presently call home.