"Lazy Environmentalist" says don't feel bad

Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:31am EDT
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By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Self-described lazy environmentalist Josh Dorfman has a plan to save the planet that is a little unorthodox -- he tells people to stop feeling bad about taking long showers and driving fast cars.

"Environmentalists make people feel bad, and making people feel bad is a terrible marketing strategy," Dorfman said, explaining the concept of his new television series debuting on the Sundance Channel on Tuesday, "The Lazy Environmentalist."

"Prophecies of doom and gloom or trying to appeal to a moral imperative, those tactics appeal to a very small minority that change their behavior," Dorfman said in an interview. "I'm interested in implementing change for the great majority."

On the show, Dorfman shows families and business people how they can make their lives easier by making more environmentally friendly choices.

In the first episode, he analyzes a California family's trash and shows them how to recycle, compost and shop for products that produce less waste that will go to landfills.

The father is at first skeptical, casting doubt on the reality of global warming and arguing that there is plenty of space in Texas for as many landfills as required.

"The great majority of Americans are not environmentally conscious," Dorfman said, adding that the biggest challenge he finds in persuading people to go green is the argument that it will cost them more money, especially at a time of recession.

Dorfman deliberately chooses skeptics, such as a woman who runs a dog grooming business and believes it will be too difficult and too costly to use natural products.   Continued...

<p>Household plastics are placed into recycling skips at a supermarket in west London May 24, 2007. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>