One of the themes that emerged after we wrote The Green Consumer Guide was the value of light greens vs dark greens.
The argument was that green consumers were ‘light greens’ and weren’t really doing nearly enough to help the planet. On the other side there were the dark greens, who were opposed to consumerism and wanted to avoid supermarket shopping altogether…
I have to admit that I have a lot of sympathy with the dark green message. The problem is that its proponents were trying to push people to go too far too fast. People were just beginning wake up to the idea that their shopping habits were having an impact on the planet. They showed that they were willing to make changes – and companies began responding to the changes that were called for. However, only a few people were prepared to go a lot further and give up the trappings of living in a modern society.
Sometimes I explain it as follows. You may have one person willing to run a marathon, but a million people prepared to run a mile. The result is that you get many more miles run with masses of people doing a less, as opposed to a few people going the whole way.
At the time of our green consumer publications, Bernadette Valleley, from the Women’s Environmental Network, was a major advocate of the dark green approach. This video has us debating the issue with a studio audience and Gloria Hunniford, as the presenter.