Capitalists are not green?

I am a big fan of smartwater. So this week, before going from the airport to the office in San Diego, I stopped by Whole Foods (my new favorite place to shop!) and bought a few 1-liter bottles of smartwater.

As I started finishing the water, I started collecting the plastic bottles. Neither the office where I work nor the hotel where I stay, has recycle containers (shame!), so I asked my co-worker if he had recycle containers at home where he could put those bottles. He said he would gladly take it and give it to his son, who made $25 over the weekend recycling plastic and glass bottles. I said I was happy for his son, and then, I don’t know why but I said that I hoped he was also doing it for the planet.

What my co-worker told me after that shocked me. He said, no, his son was the son of a capitalist and he was doing it only for the money! Unbelievable. First of all, I was hoping that he at least said for courtesy that his son knew about how recycling helps the planet, and more importantly, what troubled me is why he equated capitalism with being environment-unfriendly.

Now, just so that I don’t get into a political debate at work, I gave up the topic. But I at least made him aware that I cared for the environment.

So today, as I was leaving, I gave him a couple of bottles, and told him jokingly that it was my contribution to his son’s chewing gum expenses. Only this time, my boss was in the office and he agreed with my co-worker and in fact brought up George Carlin’s comments about caring a rat’s ass about the environment because ‘maybe that is how it was meant to be’!!! And once again, the comment from the co-worker was ‘Spoken like a true capitalist, and how it warms my heart’.

I am scared that if most of America thinks that being capitalist means you have a right to destroy the environment, then we are not going to get anywhere. Who will explain to these nuts that there IS something called Environment-friendly capitalistic companies??

I am going to write to him a friendly email. He and I work well together, so it won’t be a ‘debate’ as such – just a friendly discussion 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Capitalists are not green?

  1. The callous attitude comes back to haunt the person or at least the society. The progeny of the capitalists may eventually pay for this callousness, if not the capitalist himself!

  2. RPM says:

    @Vc, art: I may not post the actual emails, but look out for a separate post on how the interaction went. I have already sent the email to him :-)@spm: Again, equating ‘capitalist’ with ‘bad capitalist’ is unfair. There are capitalists who run Starbucks and Whole Foods (and many others, I am sure) who do care for the environment. And that is the point of my post. I am not anti-capitalism, but I am pro-environment. Are those mutually exclusive? No way!

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