Earth Week Field Guide: The Eco-Consumer

Yep, it’s still Earth Week, y’all. So far, we’ve discussed the Freegan, the Locavore, and the Righteous Recycler. Now, let’s turn our eyes towards Eco-Consumers, who aim to shop their way to a greener planet. You know, the ones who brush with organic toothpaste, wear clothes made from sustainable materials, and wipe with recycled TP. Some fun facts about Eco-Consumers:

  • Popular Consumption. More than 35 million Americans try to shop in an eco-friendly way. This includes everything from organic lipstick to hybrid cars. Even mega-chains like Home Depot have started highlighting earth-friendly products. [NY Times]
  • Dressing The Part. A few years ago, earth-conscious fashionistas didn’t have many choices. These days, green fashion is flourishing with designers like Rogan and Leroy & Parry leading the way. Brands like Levi’s and Banana Republic have also gotten in on the action. Banana’s Heritage Collection is made from 90 percent sustainable materials. [LA Times]
  • Get Out Of Jail Free Card. Even the most vigilant eco-consumer sometimes has to cause earth damage with a flight to Bermuda or a road trip to see the world’s largest frying pan. Eco-consumers turn to carbon credits in these cases. They purchase credits from sites like and, and their money goes towards projects designed to reduce greenhouse gasses, thereby offseting the damage they’re doing.
  • Ready to convert? There are some easy ways to eco-consume:

    • Buy vintage. If a piece already exists, the earth isn’t being trashed making it.
    • Check out to comparison shop eco-friendly products and see which natural deodorants and gardening tools are rated the highest.
    • Buy recycled paper products and look for organic produce. With fruits and veggies, you have to look at how far your food traveled. If you’re in Denver and your organic purple potatoes are from Maine, the environmental costs of travel cancels out the benefits of going organic. [Organic Consumers]
    • Calculate your carbon footprint at and buy carbon credits to offset it. Since fraud is rampant in this unregulated industry, make sure to research where to buy your credits. The sites listed here come highly recommended. [Time]