Tag: Sustainability

Here’s another reason not to try and terrify people out of conspicuous consumption, aside from the basic flaws in the “eco angel” approach and recent evidence that moralising is putting people off ethical consumerism. Some interesting research by Swiss psychologists found that warnings about death has the ironic effect of making some smokers want to smoke even more! The reason? They derive a self-esteem boost from smoking; warnings about death sent these smokers to a trusty source of self esteem to overcome that downhearted feeling – death-bringing cigarettes! So next time you tell someone that buying too much crap might cause planetary collapse, it’s fairly likely that your nasty nagging well send them running for a standard Western self-esteem boost: shopping.

My paper about BedZED in was published in the Environment and Urbanization journal last month, there’s a free PDF for download. Aside from the many nitty gritty technical lessons learned from the UK’s first and still-largest Zero Carbon development, I took away two basic lessons for green policy. The first is that good urban design really can influence behaviour, making for a better sense of community and more environmentally friendly lifestyles. The old rule of thumb – make good choices the default and easy, bad choices more effort – bore fruit. The second is that the prevalent “save you money” view of selling sustainability needs a good kick in the teeth. Of course bill savings can be a good motivation for some people, but where did BedZED residents spend their savings? Flights; the now well-documented rebound effect at work. If you save money somewhere, do you automatically think “Great, I’ll…

I cheap mlb jerseys gave up flying a few years ago, and my carbon footprint is 46% lower than the UK average. I really like this calculator and action plan tool, which helps individuals work out how they of can reduce their carbon emissions and ecological footprint. But I’ve gone past the suggestion that it’s our individual responsibility to somehow reduce our impacts down to a sustainable level on our own. Not cheap jerseys only is this message impossible to sell to anyone outside the “keen green” demographic (because it’s too hard); it’s also fundamentally wrong! Here are 3 reasons why: We won’t change people’s values by being angelic, we merely reinforce how different we are to the norm, which is heavily marketed by government and business. It’s good to avoid charges of hypocrisy, but it’s also important to explain cheap jerseys with humility why you — like most other…