Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Is brown the new green?

I found this great post on Hen and Harvest's blog...

My favorite quote is:

Mike Rowe had it right when he said: “Brown is the color of dirt, and dirt is the color of Earth. Under the blue ocean, the green forest, and yellow sun, there is always brown – a combination of all the primary colors. Steadfast. Fundamental. Unglamorous. Our food grows in the brown. Our bodies return to the brown. Without brown, there is no growth. There is no green.”

I live my life surrounded by "green." I work at a firm specializing in sustainable design and work in a building with solar panels and a LEED Gold certification. I come home and with my husband grow non-legally organic but naturally grown and sustainably managed produce for a small CSA supporting 38 families this year. We buy our milk, meat, and flour from local farmers or a co-op we belong to. We manage our carbon footprint and reuse products and try to avoid the lure of our consumer culture. We keep our house pretty cool in the winter and warm in the summer, we only have compact fluorescent light bulbs and Energy Star appliances. We recycle and we compost. We watch what plastics we use and what chemicals we clean our house with (when I have time to clean it at all!) I am trying to freeze, can and root cellar more items this year, so this winter we can still eat local, using other local farmers when our supply falls short of our demand.

But I feel green has been co-opted as little more than a marketing ploy. Maybe, just maybe, I am more brown then green. Somehow it seems to fit better, when my one week old work boots already look scuffed, old and dirty, when I cannot seem to get all the dirt from under my nails, when my tub has a brown ring after I shower, when I pull potatoes from the ground, and when I try to live my life close to the earth and not close to the marketers telling me which "green" product I can no longer do without?

Maybe, just like local is the new organic; maybe brown is the new green?

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