‘Greta shaming’ trend in Israel discourages plastic utensils with ‘dystopian’ cut-outs of teen climate activist
Dubbed “Greta shaming,” the trend has swept workplace lunchrooms in Tel Aviv, with eco-minded workers placing photos of a disapproving Thunberg alongside disposable forks and plates, casting judgement on anyone who dares to ignore their environmental footprint.
A trend in Tel Aviv workplace cafeterias - photos of a judgemental Greta Thunberg next to disposable utensils. Here is #1: pic.twitter.com/8Zk93RfZ5s— Allison K. Sommer (@AllisonKSommer) November 5, 2019
The teenage activist has trotted the globe doling out doses of climate shame and “How dare you”-s to world leaders over their alleged inaction on the environment, but it appears her message is catching on in Israel, where the city of Tel Aviv recently passed a ban on single-use plastics in some childcare facilities.
While several netizens praised the trend’s message in earnest, even while enjoying the humor, many found the scowling photos off-putting, conjuring dystopian images of a green analogue to Orwell’s all-seeing “Big Brother.”
Have you seen THX 1138? In a dystonia future, state run confession booths have no priests but have an image of Hans Memling's Christ Giving His Blessing (1478)Maybe our future has... pic.twitter.com/h7IxXLTCGb— Apostic (@AposticMark) November 7, 2019
Some supporters of the young activist took the fad as pure ridicule, however, and were accordingly offended, with one stating“How juvenile and ignorant can you get? I am surprised at Tel Aviv and disappointed.”
Other environmentally-minded commenters approved of the idea, but observed that plastic contributes little to climate change – accounting for only a “drop in the bucket” – largely robbing the trend of any practical effect.
Not using #plastic doesn't help very much when it comes to the #climatecrisis - not eating #meat (living #vegetarian/#vegan) and not #flying by airplane (#flyless) helps much more. pic.twitter.com/PmKpQtRvm3— There is no plan(et) B - EU (@NoPlanetB_EU) November 7, 2019
I would agree. I'm sure I sound pedantic but the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere as a result of plastic flatware manufacturing is a drop in the bucket.— Mike Marshall (@mndevguy) November 6, 2019
“Instead of shame, they could just empower people with more conscientious alternatives,” another tweeter suggested.
I love that people are wasting trees printing unnecessary pictures to shame others about paper/plastic usage.— Peninah Lamm (@PeninahLamm) November 6, 2019
Thunberg rose to fame after staging a school walkout over the climate issue in Sweden in 2018, and has since toured the world lecturing on the follies of fossil fuel-addicted “grown-ups” and calling for urgent action to address the environment.
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