I haven’t read anything more likely to make me start singing, “Praise Marx and pass the ammunition,” than this all year:
Trend-sensitives as finely attuned to a cause as they are to the charms of Hermès paddock boots, Ms. Barnett’s guests seemed to share her conviction that in this day of fervent eco-consciousness, one can never be too green.
“We all want to make our homes the safest place in the world for our families,” she said to a roomful of women with cascading hair and bouclé jackets. “We get global warming, but we don’t think about what we are exposing ourselves to in our homes. We can all watch ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ But what can we actually do to make a difference on Earth Day besides buying a Prius?”…
Still, she has no plans to reduce the family’s significant carbon footprint by, say, selling the Manhattan second home. “I’m not a perfect person,” she said. “I’m not the greenest woman in America.” And there was scant indication that other guests, most of whom, presumably, knew their way up the steps of a private jet, were contemplating major lifestyle cutbacks. Glancing about the room, Ms. Barnett said, “We aren’t all going to move to one-bedroom apartments.”
She would do what she could, she said, pointing to the correlation between commercial cleaners and the toxic residue that sometimes lurks in the tub, forming that grimy bathtub ring. “Basically your kids are bathing in the Love Canal,” she warned, her comments drawing a shudder…
Ms. Seinfeld, who is married to the comedian Jerry Seinfeld, was prepared to clamber on board. “I’m a child of two parents who grew up in the ’60s,” she said. “I’ve been recycling since I was born.” Did she plan to reduce her own carbon footprint by selling off a few of her possessions? “What I have and what I don’t have is not something I talk about,” she said.
In total, Ms. Barnett’s informal consciousness-raising resulted in 65 orders for Shaklee’s $140 Get Clean kits, a showing that might make any one of the company’s 750,000 distributors proud.
Ms. Rockefeller wanted four kits, one as a gift to her housekeeper. “I want to spread the word,” she said.
She plans to practice conservation, to a point. Energy-saving light bulbs are fine — for the utility closet, perhaps. In other rooms, “they don’t give a very pretty light,” she said.
Taking in such reservations, Ms. Barnett remained sanguine. “This is the grass-roots way to help save the world,” she said.
Ecclesiaticus 18:25 refers.