You know what annoys me? Well, what really annoys me is the little "Road Test" blurb in the back of Newsweek, which every week fawns over big, ostentatious, grossly fuel inefficient vehicles like a thimble-headed cheerleader pawing at the quarterback’s jock strap.
But you know what else annoys me? The fact that the product tests in Consumer Reports never report on energy efficiency, toxicity, reusability, or any other metric of sustainability. They treat consumers as self-contained money-maximizers with no concern for the communities around them.
Luckily, along comes GreenerChoices.org, a new CR-affiliated site that will focus on "products for a better planet." Right now it’s pretty bare bones — just general information, no reviews or tests of individual products — but I hope over time it will grow and flourish. It will certainly serve as a welcome counterbalance to the many sites out there devoted to wide-eyed gawking at green products. Not that there’s anything wrong with wide-eyed gawking — I read many of those sites religiously — but a mature market for sustainable consumer products is going to need some independent authority to vouchsafe quality and reliability.
I must say, it’s better than nothing, but I really wish CR had integrated the effort into their main content. The idea that green concerns and green products are some sort of separate niche market is pernicious, and this only reinforces it. But hey, my glass is half full!