Red and green; two colors that have been deeply wired into our society. Red is commonly tied to reject, disagree, incomplete, bad, closed, hazardous, negative. Green, on the other hand, means yes, agree, accept, online, succeed, save, available, positive, good, complete, and ultimately, nature. When it comes to common household products, the color green is aesthetically pleasing, ever-so-tied to the environment, and sends the message that a product is somehow in harmony with the earth. But just like the pictures show, green products are really no different than conventional ones; same plastic packaging, same hard-to-pronounce chemicals on the warning label, and same message—you need this shit! Newcomer eco-advocates with good intentions to develop sustainable products are easily fooled by the green packaging that is creeping into our grocery aisles.
Green capitalism promises a growing economy that uses less resources, offering eco-friendly products, and persuasive marketing schemes from powerhouse brands. Going green becomes a smart move for companies and claims to shield the environment from overuse; you can use less energy, less raw material, including less water, in production without sacrificing profits. The idea is flawed however, because if a company saves money by using less of a resource, it will invest that money back into its business to expand. Green companies might use less stuff to make a product, but they make up the difference by expanding their business. Using the logic of the market, green companies must continue to grow in order to avoid losing out to the competition. Despite their attempts to manufacture products with environmental care and design them for easy reuse, green capitalists can’t escape an economic system that demands continuous growth.