There’s big money in guilt.

If you’re feeling guilty about the damage you are doing to the environment, for as little as $57 you can make that guilt go away:

WHEN Anne Pashby moved to Baltimore last year, she was dismayed by the complexity of recycling in her new city.

"I can never get it right about which day is paper versus cardboard versus cans," said Ms. Pashby, 38, a human resources manager. "So I’ve given up on it."

But she wasn’t ready to give up on the environment. Looking for an easier way to make her life greener, she tried a "carbon calculator" at the Web site of the Conservation Fund ( She learned that the events of her everyday life, like driving the car, heating her home or taking plane trips, produced about 14 tons a year of carbon emissions, or "carbon footprint." The Conservation Fund, a nonprofit group in Arlington, Va., offered to neutralize that amount for $57, by planting 11 trees in the lower Mississippi Valley – enough to remove 14 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. She happily complied.

There are many groups that will happily take your money to make you feel better, ostensibly to invest in clean energy or similar projects. And some are even makin a profit doing it:

ACCOUNTABILITY may be especially important in the for-profit arena. NativeEnergy, TerraPass and others profit by buying and then reselling green tags and other investments.

Soinstead of actually doing something about the environment – Ms. Pashby can’t be bothered to figure out how recycling works – at least you can assuage your guilt with some cash.

And if you are concerned about your ensuring that your dinner isn’t treated badly before it gets to you, people are looking out for you too:

This month Whole Foods announced that it would no longer sell live lobsters, saying that keeping them in crammed tanks for long periods doesn’t demonstrate a proper concern for animal welfare. The Chicago City Council recently outlawed the sale of foie gras to protest the force-feeding of the ducks and geese that yield it. California passed a similar law, which doesn’t take effect until 2012, and other states and cities are considering such measures

Prior to discontinuing the sale of lobsters, Whole Foods had created habitats, with separate tubes for each lobster.


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