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.
I read yesterday that “a Sri Lankan scientist is calling for the drafting of “Millennium Consumption Goals” to [help] rich countries to curb their climate-damaging consumption habits, in the same way the poor have Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to get them out of poverty.” A fantastic idea—but what would these MCGs include?
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?
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.
Late last month, a student at New York University launched a competition called Design for the First World (Dx1w). This competition calls for “developing country” citizens to design and propose aid projects to help those in “developed countries.” The winning project receives $1,000 and will be presented at a gallery in New York City. Not exactly the billions of dollars the World Bank doles out for third-world giveaways, but a fascinating step in the right direction.
Have “The Last Supper,” Passover suppers, and other ritual feasts been supersized over the centuries? You betcha…
Colin Beaven captured the heart of today’s consumption challenge perfectly while sharing with Stephen Colbert the results of his year living as “No Impact Man”: “our whole culture is consuming. That’s the problem….” No Impact Man’s solution? Extracting consumerism from our culture and replacing it with stronger social connections and healthier living.
The US is not only overeating, but overconsuming. A cheap-food centered system should be rethought in terms of values that reflect sustainability.