Monday, 10 September 2007


A random thought to start a discussion.

I think there is a lot of mileage potentially in the concept of LESSENING:
- ie whatever your starting point the goal is to make a little progress week in week out, some local fruit and veg, a lightbulb here an inessential trip cancelled there. It's all about a direction of change, not starting out green.
- I like the fact that it sound a bit like lessons and I think sharing learning could be a key strand

lessening(DOT)org is available, anybody fancy building something around this with me?

At first it could just be a chat to gather practical lessening journals, tips, chat. Not that unique in itself, I think the positioning could be though; green tips for people who arent green but would like to be greener.


Thoughtful said...

Hello John.

We think this is spot on.

We've heard Russell Davies talk about getting people motivated in similar terms.

If we can be involved in moving this idea forward, please let us know.


john dodds said...

I agree - lots of potential along the less is more line, I'm lessening etc. You could even get people to accumulate all their progress in the lessening bank.

Andrew Smart said...

I like the idea of lessening if it's sort of a begginers guide to being greener and takes people from light green through to much more significant stuff.

Maybe one could collect badges like the Scouts or McD's employees?

One thing to watch would be NOT another 'if-we-all do-a-little-bit-it-will-add-up-to-something-big' movement. That's been done and I'm not sure it's the best way to go if we want to create real change. We've had this conversation before:

I reckon humour is also really important too.

I'd love to help if you need it.

Dawn said...

Hi John,

I started (well shall I say caught up on reading) your blog this summer while you were out. Happy to see you've returned.

About four months ago I began a venture that has a very similar strategy - simplify the transition to a more conscious lifestyle. We’re not yet publicly launched (hoping to release a beta version in October) but I’d be extremely interested in chatting with you about your lessening concept.


John Grant said...

Looks like it's a little thought that could go somewhere then. Dawn, I've emailed you and we should chat because this having a home is immediately better than starting from scratch. It sounds like lots of people would like to help with the creative side of it, me included.

I think the bigger thought is nobody has done web 2.0 properly for green. Yes myspace has some green channel and various people have launched collector mechanics. But there is nothing really involving other than freecycle & the product-service systems. Lists of little things you can do isnt it, it's more about having a daily interaction with other people around this stuff.

I have one line of thought maybe we can re-use. It's all about ultra low tech human approaches to green lifestyles. An example came from when I was working with a smart energy monitor company. You could do this now if you open your understairs cupboard and take a reading every hour. Even better, walk around the house take a note of what is switched on. Within a week you'd have a better set of information to base decisions on than you will have for years with the (slow) roll out of smart metering and the radio frequency smart plugs that input data on the energy use of each device. You will be able to tell what your light bulbs are using, vs your TV, vs your burglar alarm sensors. And you will GET IT. That's the LESSON-ING side of lessoning I really like. the only ethical consumers are those who 'get it' - eco labels and such like are just approximate steers.