“Green”: You’re Missing the Point

I stumbled across this post today, asking about whether one of those coffee makers that consumes a new disposable pod for every cup (pot?) of coffee is “green”.

Ooh, miss! Miss! I know, miss! I know! Pick me!

No. No, a device which consumes a non-recyclable plastic cup in a process which normally only consumes a piece of paper (or even nothing disposable at all) is not green. It’s just not. REDUCE is the first R. Did you know they’re in order? Of course you did: reduce > reuse > recycle. There is nothing green (environmentally-conscious, sustainable) about this kind of coffee maker. There is no way to make it sustainable apart from buying their reusable filter and using regular coffee, which is exactly what they don’t want you to do because they mark up the price on their little pods like crazy, just like every other processed food is marked up like crazy.

I read on:

Specifically, how do they shoot hot water through a plastic cup with no harmful leaching from the plastic, including BPA?

See, now you’re somehow (I blame the hippies) getting greenness (environmental-consciousness, sustainability) mixed up with chemophobia (irrational fear of things you don’t understand). There is still some question of whether BPA is the boogeyman we’ve been led to believe it is, and further even if it is, we’re still not sure if it’s getting into our bodies through oral exposure or some other avenue. That may or may not make you feel better, but either way, that has no bearing on the environment.

My point is, don’t say “green” when you mean “contains no oogedy-boogedy scary chemicals”.