I’m all for leaving a low carbon footprint, but some of these people take it to the extreme to promote themselves and make the whole concept of living sustainably just seem wacked out and crazy to the rest of the world. When I tell people I try to live sustainably and organically they immediately jump to “What? You don’t use toilet paper?” Thank you Colin Beavan.
After 150 years, Walden endures as a monument to frugality, solitude, and sophomore-year backpacking trips. Yet it’s Thoreau’s ulterior motive that has the most influence today. He was one of the first to use lifestyle experimentation as a means to becoming a published author. Going to live by the pond was a philosophical decision, but it was also something of a gimmick. And if you want to land a book deal, you gotta have a gimmick. Recently, with "green living" having grown into a thriving and profitable trend, the sons and daughters of Thoreau are thick on the ground. Not many retreat to the woods anymore, but there are infinite ways to circumscribe your life: eat only at McDonald’s, live biblically, live virtually, spend nothing. Is it still possible to "live deliberately"?
I’m all for self-improvement and doing what we can to live sustainably. But maybe we can do it in a way that doesn’t reek of personal branding, megalomania, and giving the rest of us the “crazy-people” reputation.