I read in the most recent issue of New Yorker about this fellow Peter Adeney who lives a happy life of extreme frugality and small carbon footprint. His point is that this is not deprivation but rather liberation (he retired at age 30). Great idea. But here is my question:
Why is it that people who are zealously reducing their carbon footprint inevitably dress in checkered flannel shirts and hiking boots, live in rural areas, grow their own food, and do their own carpentry?
Can we have zealots of sustainable consumption who wear well-tailored high quality clothes (which last for decades), shave their legs (that one is for women), get stylish haircuts, and enjoy schmoozing in cafes of large cities instead of fixing their own backed-up plumbing? I bet this latter model has a potential to create large following, including me, if we could only shake up the stereotypes.
There are other advantages of urbane sustainable consumption: it reduces car dependency; and it contributes to a steady state economy by not eliminating employment for the local handyman, hair stylist, and boutique clothes maker (it is impossible to buy mass produced clothing of high quality).