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A Lazy Environmental Activist? Dorfman Says He’s No Oxymoron

January 16th, 2008

By Shermakaye Bass

If you’ve heard the Lazy Environmentalist on Sirius Radio or have read the LE website orjosh_dorfman_head_2.jpg book, or have shopped at the Vivavi green-design showroom in Brooklyn, then you’ve more or less met Josh Dorfman, the man behind the movement.

He’s everywhere. It’s everywhere. And now it seems the pithy, practical naturalist is headed for fame on the small-screen, negotiating with a respectable cable network for an LE television show.

But exactly who is this armchair tree-hugger? Where did he come from? How did he become so ubiquitous so quickly? Is he really lazy and if so, does he practice what he preaches?

Recently, we had a powwow with Dorfman, a 35-year-old political science major who created his virtual doppelganger by accident. He explains that his multi-media explosion began with a 2005 blog – written in self-defense of his (then) enviro-lameness – and the rest is future history.

Dorfman talked with GreenRightNow.com by phone from Vivavi, the design and furniture showroom where he also lives – and admits to taking very long showers. For our readers’ edification, he explains how that is possible and offers sundry other insights and words of green advice.

Q: For the uninitiated, explain the Lazy Environmentalist? Who is the LE?

A: I think there’s probably one in all of us. … Actually, the LE is a dialogue that’s speaking to consumers and saying there are ways to be environmentally responsible that really fit your lifestyle. These are easy, attractive and convenient ways for you to do it. … The idea is, do we want the planet to be cleaned up or do we want global warming solved? Of course we do. The question is, “Okay what are you willing to do about it?” Well, we’re not willing to do a lot. Is it because we’re lazy? Possibly. Is it because we’re too busy? Probably. I think it’s because we’re a little bit lazy, we’re very busy and we have a lot of competing priorities. We don’t want to be inconvenienced and we don’t really want to change. … To me, that’s reality. So if you’re going to try to improve the environment, given that reality, and you’re trying to reach the great majority of Americans – not those who are already converted – then you have to take that approach.


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