premature

On to a New Year!

On to a New Year!

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

Governments Promote Planned Obsolescence, Too

Governments Promote Planned Obsolescence, Too

Examples how governments have encouraged overconsumption through planned obsolescence.

Reflections from the Degrowth Conference

Reflections from the Degrowth Conference

Venice hosted the recent international degrowth conference, which only makes sense as either the global economy degrows or Venice goes under.

Finding Ways to Sell Degrowth--and Profit in the Process

Finding Ways to Sell Degrowth–and Profit in the Process

Degrowth is coming, whether we want it or not. But for the entrepreneurial, here are some ways to profit from the transition.

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.

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.

Frequent Rider Cards and Bus Ticket Lotteries

Frequent Rider Cards and Bus Ticket Lotteries

How many more people would take the bus or metro if these services included a “Frequent Rider” reward program, redeemable for cash or goods? How many more people would abandon their car for the bus if every bus ticket was also a lottery ticket, potentially worth thousands of dollars? Citizens of some forward-thinking cities are starting to find out.

Next Step Beyond Big Scary Labels: Scary Names

Next Step Beyond Big Scary Labels: Scary Names

The U.S. is finally catching up with the rest of the world with its new cigarette labels, and Australia is leaping ahead with its new very restrictive labels. But who will be the first to take the next bold step of legally changing the name of cigarettes to “cancer sticks?”

Millennium Consumption Goals—an Update

Millennium Consumption Goals—an Update

The Millennium Consumption Goals are moving forward—and thanks to all the great comments we received, they’re getting more nuanced too!

Charge It to My Green Credit Card?

Charge It to My Green Credit Card?

Recently I came across a Reuters article in Mother Nature Network that discussed the benefits of a new “green credit card” in South Korea. I have to admit it sounds exciting, but the cynic in me also has to respond.

Scrubbing Products Clean of Greenwashing

Scrubbing Products Clean of Greenwashing

Will the new FTC Green Guides help to rein in greenwashing? They certainly have potential. The question remains, however, whether they have teeth?

Buy Nothing This Holiday Season

More than 200 million Americans shopped over Thanksgiving Weekend, spending more in a day on average than 1 billion people worldwide earn in a year. If you haven’t started your shopping yet, please don’t buy a thing. The Earth can’t afford the interest payments. Read on for tips on how to make it easier to buck cultural expectations to buy nothing.

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.

Boldly Going to the Next Frontier(Ville): Actual Farms and Homesteads

Boldly Going to the Next Frontier(Ville): Actual Farms and Homesteads

After finally trying FarmVille and the new FrontierVille, I was deeply saddened to imagine the millions of hours a day being squandered growing virtual corn and carrots. But there may be a silver lining: this addictive social game may cultivate a whole new generation of farmers, although only with a bit of help from the inventors of these games….

To Tax or To Ban--That Is the Only Question

To Tax or To Ban–That Is the Only Question

Erik Assadourian of Worldwatch Institute debates with James Taylor of the Heartland Institute about whether to ban plastic bags. Can you guess which Erik took?

Excuse Me Neighbor, Are You Hiding a Camel in Your Apartment?

Excuse Me Neighbor, Are You Hiding a Camel in Your Apartment?

New York City landlords are starting to ban smoking in their apartment buildings, further raising the barrier to the activity and possibly helping to reduce city smoking rates even more.

Don’t Squeeze the Old Growth Forest

A battle is being waged over how we wipe our behinds. Who will win?