I Hate LOHAS

Maybe I am just anti-social but LOHAS turn my stomach.  Lifestyles of Health and sustainability; the name is enough to make me feel queasy.  So what is this super new Lifestyle and will it save us from the rising tide?

It’s about being cool.  With all hobbies and interests there is something about image and how others perceive us.  Rocking around with my “it’s not a plastic bag” bag means I am cool because I care about the environment.  Shimmying up a coal plant chimney does not have quite the same sex appeal.

It’s about being loud. Ok not all LOHAS are superficial, but there is something wrong when you need to scream it from the rooftops how great you are.  Maybe LOHAS have got negative press or maybe I just want all people to change and LOHAS just shows what a niche product environmentalism still is.

It’s about feeling good.  Why they grate me so, is because I am passionate about environmentalism and buying organic, fairtrade, picked by orphans Brazil nut oil is not going to save anybody.  LOHASISM is just another form of Greenwash.  “Oh I don’t use plastic bags anymore and recycle every tiny piece of paper, and so that flight to Thailand will be Ok.” Wrong.

It’s about belonging.  LOHAS is a 21st Century version of fox hunting.  Now I am sure the lovely LOHAS do not endorse fox hunting but by joining this group you endorse something much more dangerous.  Namely Greenwashing.  Just with Fox hunting you tell people that you belong to a class or group.  With Fox hunting it’s the Queen (ok whatever rocks your boat) with LOHAS it is youthful, sexy, modern film stars wanting to “change” the world.

What we need is not an elite group of people jumping in their Prius to get to the organic supermarket on the outskirts of town and then popping into the centre to buy not another small fairtrade outfit for baby Leo before driving to the recycling plant to recycle the empty cans of Guyana juice.  What we need is action on every level of society and people need to be educated what is really harmful (that unfortunately also goes for the LOHAS).

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