CLIMATE CHANGE, DEFORESTATION, ENDANGERED SPECIES, POLLUTION… these are all major problems that we need to work together to resolve. You know that. We know that. We’ve had this message pounded into our skulls for about thirty years. Hell, Al Gore built a comedy career on his environmentalism.
Recently, however, a certain subspecies of annoying troll has come into being. A person who combines the worst of the self-righteous hippie d-bag with the self-absorbed, material attitude of the stereotypical American suburbanite. Meet the fake greenie (aka the hippycrite), the person you didn’t know you wanted to punch.
Likely Spotting Locations
The fake greenie’s natural habitat is a suburb or else a trendy upper-class neighborhood in a major city. You can spot fake greenies in the wild at Whole Foods, Starbucks, and Target (pronounced Tarjay, thank you), although some may go undercover (sporting Ray Ban sunglasses) and shop at Wal-Mart. You will never find them at environmental meetings, although they will likely own at least one T-shirt from the Sierra Club, to whom they donated $20 to in 2004 before times got tight, which they will discuss on their blog, updated regularly via smartphone, iPad, or home theater PC.
The fake greenie will own the biggest house they can afford. They will not own a television, however, and this is something they will want to discuss with you at length using one or all of the five of the computers that are always on (while simultaneously streaming culturally-relevant shows like Paul Blart: Mall Cop).
The greenie’s home will have prominent environmentally-friendly fixtures such as bamboo flooring, recycled countertops and cabinets, and fluorescent light bulbs, but will never feature solar panels, smaller water heaters, low-flow toilets, or windmills. The latter would detract from the house’s curb appeal, and fake greenies intend to upgrade in three years.
Greenies will save the planet by buying $5 solar-powered lights from Home Depot and putting them in their yard to highlight their garden, which is fertilized with cow manure. Said garden will not actually be growing anything resembling produce, despite their commitment to organic goods and local food.
If you ask them how much energy their electronics burn, or how much fuel it cost to ship them in bulk from China, or if they’re concerned with the ongoing human rights problems in the Chinese electronics assembly labor force, they will change the topic to their new bamboo iPhone case.
The fake greenie has certain requirements for food. Food must be labeled organic or otherwise environmentally-friendly, and it must cost enough to communicate how rich they are to you, the disgusting earth-hating peon. If food is locally produced, it will be from an ‘artisan [blank]-maker,’ even if that artisan is a minimum wage employee in the factory across town. They will automatically assume anything local is fresh and has a low carbon footprint, which it doesn’t.
The fake greenie’s feeding habits are easily confused with the self-righteous vegetarian’s diet. Upon closer inspection, however, you will note that the two differ in that the fake greenie will say they love bacon too much to ever go ‘fully vegetarian.’
If your city has a public transportation network, you will not find a fake greenie on it, especially if it’s primarily centered around buses and traveled by poor folk. Nor will they walk anywhere. Instead, they will insist on using their Toyota Prius, even though they can more effectively save the Earth by leaving it in their driveway. Said Prius will be festooned with positive slogans, and will have a small amount of Internet fame for being parked in front of a McDonald’s with a Go Vegan sticker.
Occasionally, the fake greenie will ride a bicycle. The fake greenie will update Tumblr to whine about how they are an oppressed minority for riding a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation.
Defense In Case of Attack
The fake greenie wants your gratitude. They’ll drop their do-gooding info all over the Internet as well as in conversation to provoke awe and/or envy. Criticism of their lifestyle, such as pointing out any possible flaws in their logic, may lead to a head-on attack.
When engaged in an ideological struggle with a fake greenie, it is best to speak only in a calm, quiet voice, back away slowly, and avoid eye contact. Running might trigger a chase response, and you’re never not going to outrun a Prius.