Sunday, 6 January 2008

New Year's Green Solutions

Welcome back!

The story so far. Everyone by now (almost) recognises the environment is in big trouble and that climate change is one of if not THE challenge facing us as a species, not to mention the destruction of natural beauty, eco-diversity and much of everything that makes us feel human and at one with ourselves. The oil is running out. Time is running out.

And yet the most recent evidence is that we are preaching one thing and doing another. Governments, companies and individuals are mostly making little changes that make a big symbolic difference but actually the carbon emissions just keep spiralling up out of control, despite our best attempts to measure them in ways that is more optimistic.

Where are the opportunities to make much more significant changes, that start to cut emissions and avert disaster?

If think we should open up the year a thread on breakthrough thinking. Where are the ideas that can dig us out of this hole?

1 comment:

TonyS said...


Think the need to come up with breakthrough thinking may have put people off.

Here you go. It's a small idea, but could grow large and hinges on the most powerful of forces, consumer activism.

Have to admit that the thought itself wasn't my own - it cropped up in another blog (Bonfire of the brands) but...

to quote the blog:
Since August 2007 suppliers and manufacturers of electrical goods have been legally obliged to take back products from customers and reprocess the materials responsibly. In theory, the price you pay for the product includes the cost of safe disposal when you're done. All you have to do is return it to the shop where you bought it. Companies are legally obliged to inform consumers of their EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) Schemes. Non-compliance is subject to an unlimited fine from the crown court.

Guess what... no-one is publicising the law.

Here's the thought. Why not do something about it. A bit of consumer activism. Get hold of the legislation. Post it in printable form and encourage consumers to take it into their local CE store with the broken DVD player they were about to throw out. Insist on hearing the stores plans for responsible disposal.

Surely with a bit of leg work from us the consumer, we can make producers and retailers take some responsibilty for the mountain of out of date, unwanted, and ultimately wasted consumer electronics that is growing daily.

The blogger goes on to mention that maybe there should be simialr schemes in place for clothing stores that sell throw away clothing.

That's it.

Anyone else got anything? or is the world doomed?