When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

It Ain't Easy Being Green: First Signs Of Eco-Fatigue

With an increasing number of products marketed as “green” and activists raising the pressure on people to think about the environment day and night, more and more consumers are getting grouchy about having to always be eco-friendly.

Kermit said it best: it ain't easy being green (Gord Fynes)
Kermit said it best: it ain't easy being green (Gord Fynes)


The starting point may well have been the 2006 release of Al Gore's movie about climate change, "An Inconvenient Truth." Ever since, more and more brands have launched "eco-friendly" products on the market. From cars to light bulbs, it is hard not to be pressured to go "green".

When Le Monde invited its readers to send in their stories about how "adverse they are to sustainable development", the paper received a huge number of e-mails.

Consumers feel that they are being taken for a ride when they are sold new, green products such as: "Low-energy light bulbs. 7 euros each. Duration: inferior to incandescent light bulbs. May contain polluting agents'. Christophe, a 43-year-old computer technician who recycles, thinks it might be much cheaper and greener not to buy them in the first place.

Florian, a 23-year-old student, believes that - as a French consumer - daily "earth-friendly" gestures won't make a difference, as most of the world's pollution comes from industrial Russia, China and the US.

Are Christophe and Florian atypical? Quite the opposite, says French pollster Ipsos, whose surveys show that an increasing number of people believe "too much is being done about climate change." In 2008, 33% agreed with the sentence above, but today that number has climbed to 45%.

According to experts, " green fatigue" made its first appearance after the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which didn't yield much in the way of change. People started wondering if companies were plotting together to make consumers buy their new green products, and members of the "green resistance movement" started to emerge.

Rémy Oudghiri of the Ipsos Institute also explains this trend by the fact that, in times of economic crisis, people are focused on caring for themselves, rather than the planet.

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

Read more from Le Monde in French

Photo- Gord Fynes

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

food / travel

Pasta v. Fascists: How Italy's Staple Dish Became A Symbol Of Resistance

Pasta may not be considered controversial today, but it played an important role during Italy's fascist years, particularly in one family's celebration of community and liberation.

Photo of the Cervi family.

Photo of the Cervi family, whose seven children were shot by the Fascists on December 28, 1943, at the Reggio Emilia shooting range.

@comunisti_alla_ribalta via Instagram
Jacopo Fontaneto

ROME — Eighty years ago — on July 25, 1943 — the vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to Benito Mussolini's arrest, set off widespread celebrations. In Campegine, a small village in the Emilian province, the Cervi family celebrated in their own way: they brought 380 kilograms of pasta in milk cans to the town square and offered it to all the inhabitants of the village.

The pasta was strictly plain: macaroni dressed with butter and cheese, seen as more of a "festive dish" in that period of deprivation. As soon as the Cervi brothers learned about the arrest of Mussolini, they procured flour, borrowed butter and cheese from the dairy, and prepared kilos and kilos of pasta. They then loaded it onto a cart to distribute it to their fellow villagers. Pastasciutta (dry pasta) specifically regards dishes with noodles that are plated "dry", not in broth. That would disqualify soup, risotto, ravioli...

Even though pastasciutta is the most stereotypical type of pasta today, it had a complicated relationship with the government during Italy's fascist years.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest