Conscious Consumption

My So-Called Environmentalist Life

By Brie Welzer, Marketing & Communications Associate

Best HeadshotI began my work at Green Seal only ten short months ago (Sept. 2012), happily combining my previous positions in environmental consulting and science communications.

In my career and personal life since I can remember, I’ve considered myself an environmentalist:  an enthusiastic girl scout in grade school, a science major in college, a forever fan of recycling, etc.

I’m certainly living my career dreams right now in Washington, DC, but feeling sheepish about not quite living up to my environmentalist ethics.

For instance, I’m increasingly aware of my typically American tendencies – I brush my teeth a bit too aggressively and fully commit to the coffee/whitening toothpaste/coffee daily cycle. Within my product experience, I want to see, feel, and enjoy the effectiveness, rather than have a vague sense that the product is working and less harmful to the environment.

Also, I would like to SMELL the effectiveness: the breeze of fresh laundry, pine of shining floors, and the now cottony scent from previously pungent running sneakers.

As Cassie Murdock of Slate has written (though sarcastically) about the subject: “Why endure the drudgery of scrubbing the splattered tomato sauce off the wall when you can instead pretend you are frolicking in the lemon groves of Amalfi?” (This required a google search: Amalfi, I’ve just learned, is a coastal town in Italy…).

Of course, I’m working to reduce my footprint and live a healthier life…but must I sacrifice my Italian lemon grove daydream? Granted, I am not wholly endorsing daily blasts of unnecessary air freshener, but I do truly bask in some product scents.

Beyond my daily enjoyment, I’m interested in scent trends in the product market. For example, a 2012 Wall Street Journal article describes where the creativity begins: “Cleaning-product perfumers monitor food exhibitions, farmers’ markets, architecture, runway fashion shows and even bars for new ideas.” (link)  The issue of fragrances, the psychology behind product design, and the response from the green product industry are all issues I hope to explore in future blog posts.

So, please join me as I learn more about product design, consumer behavior, and attempt happy, balanced, sustainable living. Also – I call out to all readers: Do YOU feel like the inconvenienced or unfaithful environmentalist? Do you have examples of your daily life where you wish it was easier, faster, more fun to be greener? Let us know!