Masses clueing in - green isn't all that easy
A couple of recent NY Times articles (yes, my media publication of choice lately) feature the problems with going green.
"Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You" takes of look of some of the contradictions in suburban living. And then there's "In Many Communities, It's Not Easy Going Green." Among other frustrations, one would-be-green do-gooder refuses to buy CFLs because she heard her neighbor spent $600 on the things.
Another NY Times article on CFLs "Making Small Sacrifices for What they Believe is Right" totally slams the CFL and features families that have grudgingly and unhappily made the switch.
Okay, yes, the grander media hype pushing the green phenomena has made it seem that going green can be easy. Unfortunately these same stories gloss over the practical realities behind all green actions. What they don't say is, "this is better, but frankly, there's still going to be drawbacks. There are compromises you'll have to make and you may have to do a little research as to what green alternative works best for you."
No one is saying (except the New York Times article) that you have to replace all your kitchen appliances right now. Yeah, if you do that it's going to be a chunk of change, and chances are it's not going to pay back any time soon. But, if your fridge kicks out or you're going to upgrade your AC unit anyway, well, yes, you should buy the most energy efficient brand out there.
Unfortunately these non-inspiring articles may have a counter-effect and could sway people against going green. Media outlets should educate the public in the realities of going green, but should also say WHY there are problems. By turning people off and discouraging small steps, we're only going to go backwards. Doing nothing, will result in nothing. However, small steps are good and will create the demand for new technologies and improvements that really will make it cheaper and easier to go green.