The Greenwashing Game A review of Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution by Heather Rogers

If you’ve ever purchased a product touting its “greenness,” then Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution by Heather Rogers (Simon & Schuster, $26.00) is a must-read. Rogers’ narrative brings the reader from farms in New York State’s Hudson Valley to eco-villages in the U.K. and Germany to Paraguay and Indonesia, filling them in on the dirty details of greenwashing industries across the world.

Through forests, fields, factories and boardrooms, Rogers looks at the art of “armchair activism” and how the “new green wave, typified by the phrase lazy environmentalism, is geared toward the masses that aren’t willing to sacrifice.” The narrative focuses on food, shelter and transportation, and looks at the “unintended consequences, inherent obstacles, as well as successful methods, that lie beneath the surface of environmentally friendly products.”

Roger’s analysis of industries will make readers think twice about what they put in their reusable grocery bag, what vehicle they choose, and what goes into making seemingly simple “green” products. The book shows that “we have the capacity to find solutions that are not simply products to buy, but ways of engaging with how we live and what we want our world to be.”