The news release is certainly intriguing:

The GenGreen Network makes its launch as the first comprehensive national online community of individuals, businesses and organizations sharing a common interest in saving the planet. The online resource is a multi-faceted easy to use platform including all the tools anyone needs to live a sustainable life and create local connections for eco-conscious communities all across the country.

Indeed, local connections are crucial to building a base of activism for planning and doing in the interest of getting ready for the impacts of climate change. And lifestyle change is absolutely necessary in strategies for both mitigation and adaptation. But somehow, looking at the site, I can’t help but wonder if it’s more feel-good lifestyle than serious practical lifestyle.

It does have potential, however, if it fulfills its promise as a collector of local resources. Activists generally know who their local allies are, but citizens will need to be able to find the local activist groups that most closely reflect their values and interests. Presilience, also, would like to know which groups are active in each locality. Our purpose is to help them become as effective as possible in expanding their organizations to fill local adaptive needs.

LifeHack is about getting stuff done most efficiently and effectively across all aspects of your life. In this article, the focus is on living the green life – again, as efficiently and effectively as possible. It’s a stripped-down, realistic approach that doesn’t provide you with the wiggle room to continue consuming as usual just because the consumables are labelled “green” or “environmental” or “organic.”

The hacks are broken down into 6 Principles of Green Living:

  • Simplicity
  • Fairness
  • Community
  • Sustainability
  • Planning
  • Transparency

Here, for example, is how LifeHack describes the green approach to community:

Too much of our world market is out of sight, and therefore out of mind. Since we don’t see the lives of the Bolivian granny who makes our chic shopping bags, or the Indonesian teenager who makes our shoes, or the Chinese mother who assembles our iPods,we don’t think about it. And we don’t think about the tremendous amount of resources it takes to get raw materials from Africa, North America, Asia, and somewhere in the Pacific to some factory in China to put together an mp3 player which will then be shipped (using resources again from all over the world) to some store in Oregon (that is again assembled using materials from all over the world) and into our pocket (of pants made in the next town over from the iPod factory, using cotton grown in Africa and rivets made of steel from Japan on machines made in Europe from materials mined in…).

On the other hand, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of attending a local farmer’s market, you’ve experienced something few of us do these days: an encounter with a part of your community, an actual living and breathing person, who made something for you to eat. There were some global resources used (even organic farmers use tractors, and they needed a truck to bring their stuff to market) but most of the labor and material involved came out of your local area — the soil you’re standing on, the person in front of you. You have a relationship with this person, and with their land. Your land.

Your local farmer selling to a local market — that’s sustainable. The relationship you have with that person — that’s sustainable, too.