Seaweed farms have the capacity to grow huge amounts of nutrient-rich food, and oysters can act as an efficient carbon and nitrogen sink.
Are You LOHAS?
Across the the country, some 40 million people are LOHAS. LOHAS people are in Charleston and Savannah, and in Scottsdale. There are a lot of them in the large cities, such as San Francisco and New York. Think Brooklyn or Portland, Austin or Berkley--people who are LOHAS are everywhere, and may be as much as thirty percent of the economy.
LOHAS means Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability and it's a demographic made up of the those who care about the sustainability, socially responsible investing, and living in concert with the environment. It's one of those terms that once you hear, you immediately understand--yes, there is a lifestyle in much of San Francisco that's in concert with Portland, Marfa, or Brooklyn.
The term was devised some ten years ago, but it's only now gaining currency: hotels are describing themselves as LOHAS, as are local businesses. With green business sector booming and expected to be worth about 100 billion dollars by 2017, LOHAS is no small demographic; it won't come and go like the political descriptors, "soccer mom" and "NASCAR dad."
Having the LOHAS term is giving some shape to the whole sustainable movement. The Natural Marketing Institute says that LOHAS is noticeably changing in scope and becoming more sophisticated--many of those within the sector are coming to realize that the greenest product may the one that isn't bought--or other words, it might mean simply repairing the older product, rather than buying some new, "green" bauble. LOHAS people want their products verified as being green by a valid third party; they're no longer willing to just take someone's word for it. They're demanding more from business, and expecting them to deliver.
But the biggest value of LOHAS? It may be in defining what isn't LOHAS, because that's where the problems lie. The Natural Marketing Institute says four in ten peole don't understand what sustainability is: that means LOHAS sector shouldn't be congratulating itself--far from it. Those who subscribe to the LOHAS lifestyle need to figure out out to help their sector grow. After all, some eighty percent of Americans have a smattering of green habits; that means there is potential throughout the country.
This is vital--because, as Andrew Ross wrote in The New York Times about the "dark side of green":
The struggle to slow global warming will be won or lost in cities, which emit 80 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. So "greening" the city is all the rage now. But if policy makers end up focusing only on those who can afford the low-carbon technologies associated with the new environmental conscientiousness, the movement for sustainability may end up exacerbating climate change rather than ameliorating it.
LOHAS needs to grow and the people in that demographic shouldn't be looking for praise while they sit in their organic cafes, eating locavore foods. The consequences are simply too great.