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LOHAS Gathering Offers Food For Thought That’s Past Its Expiration Date

As I write this, I have just left the LOHAS conference in Boulder, CO. I left the event early after really struggling with the sessions. I’m not quite sure why, but one thing has become clear to me: the overly idealistic message and tone of the conversations haven’t changed. It’s still “ Big Is Bad”, “Don’t Sell Out”, and paradoxically, “Why Aren’t The Big Companies Represented Here”?!

Typical was this question from the opening panel: “Would you sell your product at Walmart”?  I felt like saying to the goup: “Come on! Walmart has done more for environmental sustainability than this entire group of participants combined!” For example, Wal-Mart offers its customers affordable organic cotton clothing items that you simply won’t find at other stores- even the “elite” ones.

The truth is, it sounds like the same exact rhetoric I heard a decade ago — the old saying, “same circus, different clowns”, kept coming to my mind. And as I am flying home a little disappointed, I remember how much I have enjoyed these conferences in the past. So why not this one? I think it is the frank realization that they’re making no real progress in changing consumers’ behavior as it relates to the environmental impact of their actions.

I’m about making real change, and the tone of these discussions has to be much different if they are ever going to succeed in making a difference.  We need to embrace the Big Companies as well the nimble little ones. We’re all part of the problem, we need to all be part of the solution.

About Anthony Zolezzi

Anthony was the co-founder of Code Blue Recycling which was acquired by Waste Management and the predecessor to the Greenopolis Recycling System. Today Anthony serves as the Creative Director of Greenopolis. "There can only be one change to any problem – change in attitude and consciousness.”


One thought on “LOHAS Gathering Offers Food For Thought That’s Past Its Expiration Date

  1. I can’t agree with you more Anthony. The conversation does need to change from big is bad. Despite efforts to get those in the LOHAS audience to recognize this it is still a prevailent them that also penetrates to the presenters.However the attraction of LOHAS is still there for big business and companies such as Toyota, Visa, L’Oreal, Mohawk and Coke among others were in attendance. The difference from other events is that they are in the audience and not on stage whic I think is a good thing. Rather than get the presentation limited to corporate parameters there are presenters giving their insights unbridled. Unfortunately sometimes people get carried away but thaT is the risk we take. Having them at the table for conversation is vital to moving the needle forward for the betterment of all. It is not about us amnd them. It is about evolving together to create a new and improved and inclusive society.

    Posted by tedning | July 15, 2011, 3:41 pm

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