I have noticed an interesting trend, of late. Let me preface this by saying I am a huge proponent of living life so that we have the smallest impact on the planet. We should live as if the planet is our house, our home (novel, I know). Replace things that we use up, not leave our dirty footprints everywhere, and live quietly and respectfully as if we have neighbors next door. The green movement is helping, talking about a carbon footprint is helping. My concern is that industry is not. Some industries do share products that are genuinely trying to help. Phosphate free soaps, clothes made out of sustainable materials like hemp and bamboo, furniture out of bamboo and reused items.
My concern is this. It seems the advertising, and possibly the subsequent habits, actually encourage people to get rid of their perfectly good: furniture, applicances, cell phones, dishes in favor of the green dishes. Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but that doesn't help! Now, instead of a slightly less energy efficient fridge in your home, there is a large box of metal and chemicals lying in a landfill. Want to ditch your Corelle wear in favor of bamboo plates? Great, but what happens to the Corelle lying in a pile waiting for the next thousand years to breakdown to it's basic chemicals.
Many of the folks I know - esp. those greenies here in Portland, are great about sending items to Goodwill or putting them up on Freecycle or Craig's List. But I know so many people who also just dump them in a bin assuming they'll go to that great trash compactor in the sky. If you really do favor earth friendly items in your home, please try to get rid of the old ones responsibly.