Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Advertising for a Sustainable Future

Sometimes sustainability is just plain common sense. For the next few days I am going to run a series on the things that we could be doing to reduce our footprint, at no cost to us, in fact, at a savings.

One of the reasons we are so reluctant to change is that we are caught up in bad habits based on familiarity. And usually this familiarity is based on a silly idea introduced decades ago by a marketing department.

So here is a chance to undo some of the madness.

Why add carcinogenic red food dye to nuts?

Or bleach coffee filters and toilet paper with chlorine pollutants?

Why does gum need to be individually wrapped?

Why is it so hard to find a take-out joint in this city that doesn’t use styrofoam?

In the era of the enlightened consumer, it makes more sense to highlight the features of a product, in terms of how it can reduce an impact, as opposed to contribute to the problem.

Let’s start with reducing greenhouse gasses (GHGs) from your home or office.

Scanners, printers, speakers and computer peripherals consume a lot of energy, even when in standby mode. Monitors are notorious offenders, and screensavers don’t work to save power. By turning computers and machines off at night, it is possible to save heaps of power, and in turn money.

Keeping old coffee warm costs 5 cents a cup,

10 incandescent emergency lights cost roughly $100 a year, if they were LED it would be closer to $7.

A print on both sides saves nine.

Then there is food. And cleaning.

Why clean your house with poision? Thirty years from now they are going to look back at our generation and think that we were nuts. We fill our immediate environment with toxins for no reason and beyond convenience, habit and steeling our immune system.

But we have a ways to go before we catch up with the quality of their ads though. I love this one.

Creative Wonders link


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