Most of us live our lives immersed in a consumer culture that we are hardly aware of. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing we are bombarded with enticing messages urging us not to miss out on this or that latest deal. From Clothes to TVs to SUVs there is always something newer, better and if we buy it today we will save money by taking advantage of that limited special offer.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could press the pause button and give yourself a moment to think? To move beyond that in-built urge we all have for wanting colourful, sweet and shiny things; to flip our minds from marshmallow mode to a more objective way of thinking. If we can engage our acorn brains, as Roman Krznaric author of The Good Ancestor encourages us to do, then we are free to ask ourselves important questions like “Do I really need this?”, “How long will this product last me?”, “How easy will it be to repair?” or “What is the carbon footprint of this product?”.
The impact of the consumer culture on global warming is huge and yet it is almost invisible to most of us. We are starting to see some progress, the availability of products which are sustainably produced and better for the environment is increasing. We see new adverts everyday, some of them genuine and unfortunately some of them “greenwash”. We can easily get sucked in to agonising over which is the right thing to buy from an environmental and ethical perspective. But here is the rub, perhaps we should be asking ourselves whether we really need it all; you probably wont find an advert suggesting that!
To me consumption is possibly the most important piece in our Climate Solutions puzzle as it links together so many other things. The good news is there are several, simple things you can change to start reducing this part of your carbon footprint and most of them will end up saving you time and money. To find out more check out the latest Climate Solutions infographic on What we buy
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