Is Being ‘Green’ Finally Trendy?

Is Being ‘Green’ Finally Trendy?

The environment gets the shaft for sure, but
now studies are starting to show that if one person start composting, their neighbors will
too… it’s like… an environmentalism arms race! Environmentalism isn’t sexy. We know from
other DNews videos that if I say “Global Warming” some of you will perk up but if I say, “Climate
Change,” you are out of here faster than radiation through an o-zone hole… BOOM, Now you’re
back! “Environmentalist arms-race” has that same effect, I bet. Humans evolved to pay attention to things
that affect THEM and climate change is EXTREMELY difficult to get people to pay attention to
simply because it’s so huge. But there is one way to get everyone to pay attention,
buy something flashy that shows you care more than they do. Think about it! When people
buy things to show off their status, like a Louis Vuitton bag, the latest game console
for their house, diamonds for their ears, necks, or hands, or latest mobile phone to
flash around… that’s called Conspicuous Consumption. It’s a psychological term coined
by an economist in the early 20th century. We WANT people to think we’re classy, and
we’ll buy things to show off our social class. Conspicuous consumption is tied to another
American idiom: “keeping up with the Joneses.” The idea being, we don’t want to be left
behind in our social group. It’s an evolutionary tactic, chimps groom and make things, they
show off and compete. It’s a normal part of primate life. The thing is, studies from Cal Berkeley, Universities
of Minnesota and New Mexico and countries around the world show there’s also an environmentalist
version of this: Conspicuous Conservation. This is where people gain status in their
social groups by being MORE environmentally conscious. They buy a hybrid in a land of
Hummers, start recycling in a place where people send everything to a landfill… It’s
the green version of buying a designer suit, and they’re not mutually exclusive, they’re
inexorably connected. Many brands know this now too, and design
their environmentally friendly products to fit with conspicuous consumption psychology.
A study from Cal Berkeley in 2012 found that the design of the Prius affects its sales.
The Prius is the most successful hybrid, in terms of sales, in part because it LOOKS like
a hybrid, they found. People want you to KNOW you’re environmentally conscious, it’s
a status symbol. A study in American Psychologist looked at
emotional behaviors around environmentalism, and its pretty easy for us to get swept into
smaller things like recycling plastic bottles, but denial of environmental problems — like
climate change — will overwhelm any beneficial impacts. Psychologists are working to discover
more ways to help people feel good about helping the Earth, but the question is, even though
we know this is part of our evolution as a social species, and part of a group mentality,
are we actually helping the environment?? Some argue that this is just conspicuous consumption
under a different name, which doesn’t help anything; while others argue that buying greener
products is good, regardless of motivation. But what do you think? If we end up making
the world better in order to keep up with the Joneses is that as good as making it better
because we wanted to in the first place?

100 thoughts on “Is Being ‘Green’ Finally Trendy?

  1. Me and my boyfriend recycle, I take short, cool showers, and also tell people who want to do the same how they can do it correctly. Have also not littered since I was about 7. I feel good enough by thinking this might help the environment a tiny little bit.

  2. Well first get rid of the Prius and buy a range rover vogue SDV8. It causes less damage to the environment than the Prius. Yes fine once on the road the Prius is much better than the SDV8. But the manufacturing of the Prius is the problem. Ditch the Prius and get something you want. A normal Toyota camery for instance or a Mazda MX5/Miata. Just don't buy the Prius.

  3. I couldn't care for being green – especially when there's far too much political and financial propaganda surrounding it.

    I care for self-sufficiency, breaking free from dependency on corporations and other establishments and being able to support myself. Self-sufficiency in terms of energy use, product purchase (products that last, and arn't designed to be discarded) is a good start.

  4. Science, you want us to believe humans evolved with little current evidence (it all dates back millions of years), but yet you refuse to believe the planet is evolving right in front of you.  So which is it, is there evolution or not?

  5. its trendy to not commit homicide. 
    maybe now, we can use social assimilation to help the world be a better place.

  6. Does this mean it's finally the time in which people can own hybrids without creating dangerous amounts of smug?

    Come on, people now, people now
    People now, come on, people now
    Got to drive hybrid, people now
    People now, people now, people now
    Hybrids are for people now, people now
    Good for people driving people now
    Get a hybrid, be good people now.

  7. Just saying that the care for environment is not sexy undermines your whole video. It is actually moronic if you think about it. And sad.

  8. I'm sorry guys but "trendy environmentalism" is not going to help any fucking thing. Until we get to the point that all of our waste is food for something else and the embodied energy used for making and using a thing is less than the energy used to not have the thing, well we are all fucked. 

  9. " buy things to show off their status, eg games consoles" LOLWUT? I thought people bought games consoles to…oh i dunno… play games, perhaps?

  10. I think it doesn't matter which way we go about becoming green as long as we become green and in all reality there will be people who become green because of the environmental impact and there will be people who go green for the social status. I prefer people to be aware of the damages our society is doing but society doesn't go by what I prefer or small minority of people. There are so many people in the world that both options will take place not one vs the other.

  11. In this case, the ends justify the means. It doesn't matter how we do it, as long as we do it. (referring to "saving the planet")

    Buying something thats green MAY be saving the environment BUT  it's a little more complicated than that. 
    First off, buying something green and then throwing away the non-green product you have is NOT environmentally friendly most of the time. If the product doesn't need to be replaced to be eco-friendly, then replacing it is a waste and therefore not eco-friendly. 

    But everyone can but a hybrid car and still climate change will persist. I believe that its not what we buy, its the things we don't buy. Let me explain. Look around you. Look at your keyboard. Its all plastic. Practically everything is plastic. Think about this: What is used to make plastic? Mostly oil. How is that gathered from the Earth? Not in eco-friendly ways I'll tell you that (any way you get oil from the ground hurts the environment in some way). How is it made? Through factories that spew carbon and deadly chemicals into the air. What will happen after we're done with it? throw it away. never to be used again after sometimes only one use. 

    The best way to save the environment is to stop rewarding companies for killing it 
    Manufactorers are like children and we're like parents. Take away their toys instead of spoiling them and they learn

  13. If buying these "green" products instead of its more polluting brothers, doesn't matter if you're to save earth or just for social gain, you're helping the Earth either way.
    Though I don't know how much of an improvement these green products are over the normal ones.

  14. I think that the intention does matter, but the end result is still favorable to no change regardless of the intention.

  15. While it is good for people to knowingly help the environment, even if they just jump aboard the band wagon, you get the same end result. So I say as long as we get there!

  16. DNews could you make a video explaining why when people laugh so hard they feel like they are about to wet themselves, and what makes things sticky like tape, or glue before its dried, or sap from a tree. that would be pretty nice.

  17. People are not denying that climate change is a thing, they are denying that the human race is causing climate change and for good reason we simply don't have the data to back it up. The fact that we are polluting the planet is irrefutable why not focus on fixing that first and if climate change science is correct it will also fix our climate.

  18. I could not give a damn whether or not it's trendy
    Seriously, some people think we have more than one earth.
    That's saddening but I digress; at this point, we need progress regardless. Even so, pathetic

  19. What's the point in this when places like china are creating huge amounts of the problem . If the UK made its carbon footprint nothing and made no pollution only about 1% of the problem will be done. However of china even halved it the difference would be amazing

  20. Motivations are not really relevant.
    It really does not matter is selfishness is the baseline for the greater good, so long as we are contributing to it.

  21. Maaaan, I liked being green before it was cool…. Meh, I'll just keep being green. No point in stop being green just cause it's now "cool".

  22. There are also people who view 'going green' very ignorantly and also there are the anti-trend folks to take into account that actually might turn away from going green because it's trending. but once people go green they'll see how much money they're saving anyway, so it's probable that they'd think it's idiotic to go back.

  23. Sad as it is, most people wouldn't do anything for the environment unless they were guilted into it, or saw that it was 'cool'. People are just too self centered to do it on their own, as they think that taking action will affect them negatively right now, where as climate change is something they do see as affecting them personally because they can't see it.

  24. well if the ppl that buy starbucks throw away a biodegradable cup (littering), then yes they are helping the environment unconsciously.

  25. I have been recycling trash for over 10 years. I convinced my mom to let me take her recyclables a few months ago. With the carrot of, "You know if you do, those city trash bags we have to by will take longer to fill and you'll save money". Damn if that didn't work.

  26. Honestly, I don't care if anything I do is hated or loved or trendy. Hell, I'm an atheist in an area where…. Actually… I don't think I've ever met another atheist IRL….. Never mind, I played games, such as minecraft before people said it was cool, ya know back when you'd get made fun of if you played it. And honestly, I go with what is best, and would make me and others happiest

  27. The world is going to go green, but like every other advancement in human history it is going to take time.

    A common misconception that people seem to have about addressing climate change is that anything short of doing so RIGHT NOW is not good enough, but that is simply unrealistic. 

  28. The problem with "going green" is that people are so horribly misinformed about it that we make no real progress. For example recycling uses more energy than producing a new thing would. Its also less economical with the exception of metals. Or how about solar panels, they are a sham. Its stupidly expensive, horribly unreliable, a mess to maintain and toxic to dispose of. The electric cars we had 100 years ago were more efficient than the ones we have now. And on top of that people have made vehicles that can go 2000km on 1 L of fuel. There is a competition about that every year. My point is that we need better ideas and technology to fix anything.

    Oh and this trend of new buildings having god forsaken glass walls needs to end. The concept doesn't work and cause a massive heating bill. Heat is where a lot of the energy produced goes and its where so much is lost, in the north at least.

  29. I remember in a documentary a while back, where A lot of people bought new water saving toilets. But the thing is, they still have to dispose of all the old toilets, so sure they save more water, but they threw away thousands of perfectly fine toilets have mostly ended up in a land fill.

    The point is, if you trying to help the earth. that's good. However buying a bunch of eco friendly stuff still means you have to dispose of all the old non-eco friendly stuff. Which was all still in working condition. 

  30. Cue south park episode where everyone driving Prius by each other shouting "GOOD FOR YOU!" and "THAAAANKS" in smug ass tones. If we start inhaling out farts it'll cut down on methane emissions in the air! I like to think i'm part of the solution… you know not the problem

  31. This definitely works! I cloth diaper my daughter because it's better for the environment than disposable diapers, as a result a few friends plan to do the same when they originally were going to do the disposable route.

  32. It's funny how electric car users think that it's super environment friendly when they're getting 99.9% of the energy from coal…

  33. The amount of "I read this one bogus article, with misleading and bias information, that said…" comments are of abundance.   Pseudoscientists, take a knee. 

  34. I think people don't care about the planet. So, tricking people into helping it is perfectly fine with me.
    As far as conspicuous consumption… It's quid pro quo

  35. We need to invest more money into laboratory grown meat.  In the meantime, while that is slowly becoming more cost effective, we need to shift our tastes to accommodate insect meat.  Way more meat for a fraction of the land and greenhouse gases created.

    TLDR:  Cows need to be phased out.

  36. Some good resources for everyone to make their own informed decisions about going green are: YouTube Channel "TheStoryofStuff" (and the book of the same name), the documentary "No Impact Man," (and the book of the same name) and the book "Cradle to Cradle." These were all resources provided in my Sustainable Design class at UC Davis and would totally recommend them to anyone! They have completely changed the way I think and opened my eyes to the problems facing our planet, and what we as individuals can do about it. I think what he claims is correct that sometimes people think it is too big of a problem for them to tackle individually, but if we each just make a few simple changes it can really go a long way.

  37. Being greenwashed might be trendy, but truly being "green" is not. Everyone wants new technology that is better for the environment – whether that be hybrid/fuel efficient cars or renewable energy. These technologies are definitely important and necessary. But nobody actually wants to reduce their consumption. People want to buy new cars instead of walking/biking to places or taking public transportation. We want renewable energy but we don't want to live in public housing (e.g. apartments/condos), unplug unused appliances, or reduce our water consumption. Would people take up a vegan diet and quit drinking coffee if they knew the negative impact of the meat and coffee industry on the environment? Probably not. Being green will never be trendy because it requires people to change their lifestyles.

  38. We have done a lot of bad, but we are getting wiser about our impact on the planet. I believe that any small change that one person does makes a difference. Whether or not that change can be measured by whatever is different. If you want a statistic wait a couple of years to see a significant change. Yes it takes a while, but any contribution helps. If 1,000,000 people do one small thing to help the planet, even if it is buying a green product, that is 1,000,000 things we have just fixed, cleaned up, or contributed to saving our world. If you ask me, that is pretty amazing. I don't care what is behind your motivation to help the planet, any help is better than none.

  39.  "Green" has always been just politically motivated trendy bullshit.
    Real conservationism or environmentalism involves real science, avoids knee jerk reactions based on irrational response. Real environmentalism supports nuclear power, not wind. Real environmentalism supports small diesel (also biodiesel, of course) over ridiculous electric vehicles, which are really just coal powered cars.

  40. I think that unnecessary consumption should be stopped. If you think of the the R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) reduce is the first one. I believe that is meant to curb consumption. Yeah go out and buy that green thing to keep up with your neighbor but only if you need it/will actually use it.

    Kind of random but I watched this while eating Popsicles made o made from egg nog.

  41. I am not against saving the environment or making stuff more efficient however, I will not replace any object/tech which is more energy efficient but performs worse.
    For example, if I were to buy a car I would look for something efficient however, I wouldn't buy an efficient car if it goes too slow or has an extremely limited range. What I'm trying to say is I expect more efficient solutions to perform just as well as an efficient product.

    My house could be considered an environments worst nightmare with energy hungry high performance computers and servers but there's no way an efficient 100 watt computer or server could perform what I do on computers.

  42. The true problem is most people who are care about sustainability, still support a world without money.. Let me say this simply, if you actually think we can live in a sustainable world WITH money, you're living a lie..

    Consumption is the MAIN focus of keeping an economy running. If everybody stopped consuming so much, economic growth would slow.. Which is considered bad. We need inefficiency to keep money circulating.

    If you care about the environment, you can't support money. If you care enough to learn the truth, and aren't just being green to seem trendy.. Seriously look into The Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project..

    A quick film on YouTube to briefly explain how a world without money works: Paradise or Oblivion

  43. Sometimes the outcome justifies the means. For instance if a greedy corporate CEO donates money to a charity for his annual tax deduction; depending on if the charity was legit, does it matter that the CEO only did so for the tax deduction? Certainly not to the charity and whoever they're helping. Simply put people like incentives, so there's no reason not to incentive something good. The good will do good regardless, but maybe we can get those more destructive individuals to toe the line if there's an incentive to do so. Such as not losing social status or even gaining more status.

  44. Hybrid cars have too many strings attached to make them sustainable. 

    Consider the amount of very harmful emissions produced from manufacturing the batteries as opposed to a regular car. Also consider that the car is running it's petrol engine on motorways. Also consider that the batteries don't last forever. In the Prius for example, the battery is no different in construction from any other Lithium-ion battery. 8 or 9 years into the life of the car, the battery is completely done for, it will not hold a charge whatsoever and the only option to fix that is to replace it. Getting a mechanic to buy a new battery and install it could cost more than what the car is worth. Or at the very least, any money savings made in consuming less fuel by running a Hybrid will have completely evaporated once the battery has been replaced. Nobody is going to want to buy a hybrid car with a battery that is nearing the end of it's life either, making the car virtually unsellable. Consider again the very harmful emissions being created by producing the batteries that replace the old ones if the old ones do get replaced, AND the harmful emissions being produced by the old ones being scrapped. Do you get these issues with non-hybrid vehicles? No.

    Manufacturers need to design cars to be as reliable and as low cost in maintenance as possible. That means having cars run on efficient diesel engines that are NOT hybrids. With more reliable cars, the cars can stay on the roads for longer. And if the cars can stay on the roads for longer, there is less of a need to deplete more non-sustainable resources in order to replace the cars that have been prematurely scrapped. Such a sustainability strategy is FAR more effective than hybrid vehicles ever will be, or at least it'll be the more sustainable strategy until battery technology makes some gigantic breakthroughs very soon.

    But hey, the automotive companies have profit margins on their agenda, not sustainability. Automotive companies want their cars to break down quickly, so that the general population are forced to buy new cars more often. And then they get stupid rich.

  45. Wouldn't it be cool if Dnews actually mentioned that the most environmentally friendly thing one could do is stop eating animals, since farming animals for consumption is the number one green house gas producer? The biggest thing one can do for the environment is to go on a plant-based diet. 

    Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions

    Methane (cow farts) is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2

    Livestock is responsible for 65% of all emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas 296x more destructive than carbon dioxide and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years

    Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US

    One hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce – the equivalent of 2 months’ worth of showers

    2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef

    477 gallons of water are required to produce 1 pound of eggs; 900 gallons of water are needed for cheese

    1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk

    5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes
    55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture

    Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution [iv], and habitat destruction

    ^ sources for all of these are here: Watch Cowspiracy to see how major environmental groups in the US try their best to avoid acknowledging the countless reports that point to meat and dairy as being the most env destructive things people contribute to every day.

    Also wouldn't it be cool if people didn't need to ~feel~ good about doing beneficial things that make sense in order to do those things? That way we can just educate people about the real causes of climate change instead of making up these bullshit trends that make people ~feel good~ for being accepted by their fiends as whatever identity is cool this week. 

  46. There exists many ways to make this planet better for all living things the problem is a lack of cooperation. i know of one but in this age it is to early, maybe sometime in the future my dreams might become a reality

  47. Yes, we all want to hear about greenies. Tell us what the did in Perue. Greenies have more money and time than BRAINS. Elite RICH KIDS and Communists Ex-Professors. You want to do something for the Planet? START A FUCKING COMPANY AND HIRE SOME POOR PEOPLE WHO NEED A JOB. Untill then, STFU BASTARDS.

  48. i find it odd that when i first moved to spain there were piles of rubbish everywhere, every village had a few huge piles of trash and landfills they were just adding to, but then suddenly they stopped doing it, shows how we have indeed just got here as a species, but anyway, i want to know where all the rubbish goes now, nobody knows, does it all get exported? does it get burned?  nobody knows lol.  so kept in the dark we are.

  49. People doing the "right" thing just for social reasons will never be as preferable as people doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. That being said, we cannot force people to do the right thing, but we can at least benefit from creating an atmosphere where doing what is right is the preferable choice to make due to social and psychological pressures.

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