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On to a New Year!

On to a New Year!

Wrapping up the year, the Transforming Cultures blog, and sharing my thanks!

Nurturing a Sustainable Childhood

Nurturing a Sustainable Childhood

Worldwatch Europe’s new report provides valuable insights into how to turn our consumer kids into guardians of sustainable living.

Life at (a cluttered, stuff-filled American) Home

Life at (a cluttered, stuff-filled American) Home

What do you get when a team of anthropologists team up to study the stuff found in the homes of 32 American families?

The Big Apple Takes on the Big Gulp

The Big Apple Takes on the Big Gulp

The mayor of New York is trying to dam the flow of sugary drinks into the city.

Youth Edition of Transforming Cultures Now Published!

Youth Edition of Transforming Cultures Now Published!

UNESCO Catalunya has just produced a youth edition of Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability in 4 languages. Check it out!

Exploiting the Lorax for Fun and Profit

Exploiting the Lorax for Fun and Profit

More companies are embedding greenwash into their marketing campaigns–including the 70 companies that have lined up to cash in on the classic Dr. Seuss eco-fable The Lorax.

Uncle Sam Says Garden…and Eat Vitamin Donuts

Uncle Sam Says Garden…and Eat Vitamin Donuts

Eat Vitamin Donuts, Save Sugar, Garden More, Eat More Fish. These are just a few of the recommendations of the U.S. government over the past century. One they forgot: don’t take money from food companies.

Lord of Recycling: An Eco-parody

Lord of Recycling: An Eco-parody

“You Shall Not TRASH!” So sayeth Gandalf in the newest epic, “Lord of Recycling.” Watch it at Transforming Cultures and see a great new eco-parody of “The Lord of the Rings” and a powerful example of viral social marketing.

Mickey Mouse's Iconic Role in Modeling Consumerism

Mickey Mouse’s Iconic Role in Modeling Consumerism

Do Disney cartoons lead viewers to believe in and act out Disney’s consumeristic fantasy? What about modern icons like the Disney Princess and the iPod? Can you sing M-I-C, K-E-Y, C-N-S-U-M?

Making Borscht Cool Again

Making Borscht Cool Again

I read recently about how the Gold Pure Foods Product Co. is trying to make borscht cool again. Considering how healthy and sustainable borscht is, I applied the Transforming Cultures formula to see how we could normalize borscht consumption once again in the U.S. Read on to learn what ultimate fighting, baby food, cartoon mascots, and skyrocketing grain prices have to do with the future of borscht.

A 4th of July that Truly Celebrates Independence

A 4th of July that Truly Celebrates Independence

It’s almost the 4th of July and if we’re going to commemorate Independence Day here in America, why not celebrate it in a way that actually makes us more independent–of fossil fuel companies, coal companies, factory farms, and all the other toxic industries destroying our country and planet?

Santa 2.0

Santa 2.0

How about a greener Santa myth to go along with a simpler Christmas season?

The Princess and the Product Placement

The Princess and the Product Placement

A review of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog: A great fairy tale if the embedded product placements for everything Disney could be extracted. At points I thought I was watching Disney’s fantasy world, rather than a fantasy world created by Disney.

What Would You Sacrifice for a Secure Future?

What Would You Sacrifice for a Secure Future?

Sacrifice has become a dirty word in environmental politics. But we sacrifice all the time. Two-thirds of Americans have sacrificed their waistlines and lifespans for cheap food and high profits for food companies, often without actively making this choice. Is there a way to reclaim the word to get people to start “sacrificing” to sustain a healthy relationship with Earth—or to at least stop sacrificing to the modern god of growth?

Baby Carrots: Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food

Typically, you hear me railing about inappropriate marketing, particularly to children, but here’s an effort I can get behind. A bunch of farmers of “baby carrots” have gotten together and applied the lessons of junk-food marketing to their tiny carrot offerings. While not perfect, it’s a great start. And if refined, it could play an important role in transforming children’s dietary norms.

Petro Essences, Pinkwashing, and the Cult of Body

Good news! The Story of Stuff Project has come out with a new video—this time targeting cosmetics. And better news: the cosmetics industry called it a biased “shockumentary,” which must mean it hit too close to home and they’re concerned it might influence the political debate. Hopefully the industry’s fears will come true and the video will help people push for better regulation on cosmetics while taking off some of the toxic products they currently smear on their bodies.

The Rise of the Brazilian Consumer Class

The Rise of the Brazilian Consumer Class

Eventually, the Global Consumer Economy will self-destruct, as all Ponzi schemes do. But before then, there’s still plenty of room for growth (as long as new joiners don’t ask too many questions). This is especially true in rapidly developing countries like Brazil. In fact, Brazil seems like a great place to grow the consumer dream, whether in the country’s urban jungles or the deepest reaches of the Amazon forests.

A Family of Three, Intentionally

A Family of Three, Intentionally

The next frontier of Reality TV needs to be normalizing sustainable lifestyles. My proposal: a simple living family that chooses to have just one child, even as friends choose the currently normal two.

Retire Ronald!

Retire Ronald!

For such a great job selling burgers, fries and Coke to kids, Ronald McDonald deserves an early retirement. Just like Joe Camel and Spuds MacKenzie. The new Retire Ronald campaign is trying to do just that….

What’s the Main Ingredient in Tomato Ketchup?

Did I know what a tomato was at age 6? Did you? Well, these kids certainly don’t….

Kids Teaching Parents

Children can become representatives of the planet and of their future.