The Greenwashing of America

Jarring statistics point out what little impact recyclers and low-carbon pledgers among us are having on saving the environment. Mass media accounts of corporate “greening” teach Americans to ignore ecological limits and misinterpret how we collectively live, work, and play impacts the environment. “Greenwashing” is based on individually centered approaches to understanding and “solving” environmental problems. It masks their social nature and makes people vulnerable to increasingly clever forms of “green consumerism.” It’s a process that turns social citizens into individual consumers, reinforces existing social structures, and fails to question unsustainable practices.