Do “environmentally responsible” products help the planet? Or do they just get us to buy more stuff?

Some say that so-called “conscious consumerism” is good for our planet. Others see it as just a way to assuage our overconsuming consciences.

Photos ©

“We cannot exorcise the climate demon by buying more stuff.” — Richard Heede

Are bags marketed as reusable more environmentally friendly than plastic or paper? It depends on what it took to make them, how long they last and what happens to them when their useful life is over. Photo © | recep-bg

[P]urchasing products that claim to be environmentally friendly allows people to participate in environmentalism without causing themselves too much discomfort.

On their face, reusable cups seem a good idea. But if buying one makes you feel like you’ve “done your duty” to the environment, they could be counterproductive. Photo © | Mariakray | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Ensia is a solutions-focused nonprofit media outlet reporting on our changing planet.

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