Environment

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Sundance Channel
Josh Dorfman, "The Lazy
Environmentalist"

It Is Easy Being Green

June 18, 2009 07:00 AM
by Rachel Balik
On his new TV show, “lazy environmentalist” Josh Dorfman teaches people that being good to the environment doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or expensive.

Making People Feel Bad Is Bad Marketing

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“The Lazy Environmentalist,” a new TV show on the Sundance Channel, stars Josh Dorfman, who lives by the philosophy that it’s ineffective to shame people into going green; rather, they should be shown that it’s “the more attractive choice.” Reuters reports that Dorfman began promoting this viewpoint in a blog five years ago after he founded an environmentally conscious furniture company, but refused to give up long showers and showed minimal commitment to recycling.

On his TV show, Dorfman will guide average Americans though small adjustments they can make to “greenify” their lives. Dorfman says one of the primary reasons people resist adapting to more environmentally conscious lives is that they fear it will be too expensive. He looks for eco-friendly alternatives that actually save money or offer other benefits.
The show’s Web site has a blog where visitors can watch some footage. In one episode, he encourages a family to make their own soda, which reduces their use of cans and bottles.

Background: Go green, save cash

During a recession, it can be particularly difficult to convince people that it’s a good time to go green. But the Minneapolis Star-Tribune points out that there are many ways in which making choices that are good for the environment will also be good for your wallet. Driving less means using less gas. Buying groceries in bulk will save packaging and money. Fluorescent light bulbs are more expensive up front, but you’ll save money because you’ll change them less frequently. You can use less energy around the house with simple adjustments: turn down your thermostat, air-dry your laundry or even make your own laundry detergent.

Even big companies have recognized that greener choices can be frugal ones as well. In the case of some internationally recognized brands, managers have realized that in order to appeal to the public, having a green image is essential.

Even President Obama has opted to allocate billions of budget dollars to improving clean-energy technology. He says that the country’s problems with energy have “held us back for too long,” the Washington Post reported in March 2009. Obama asserted that the spending would be good for the economy as well, as the investment and implementation would ultimately produce hundreds of thousands of jobs.

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Related Topic: City goes vegetarian

While Dorfman tries to make it easy for Americans to slowly change their ways through small adjustments, the city of Ghent, Belgium, asked its residents to forgo eating meat on Thursdays as a way to reduce carbon emissions. A U.S. nonprofit called Meatless Monday has a similar goal, but Ghent is the first city to officially urge its citizens to temporarily choose vegetarianism.
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