conservation vs. consumer

Discussion in 'Consumer Advocacy' started by WayfaringStranger, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. WayfaringStranger

    WayfaringStranger Corporate Slave #34

    hey yall im gonna write a paper soon, explaining the wisdom of conservation as apposed to consumerism. yall have any ideas i havent thought of? im trying to make it nice as possible so i dont offend people im trying to unbrainwash.
     
  2. whispers

    whispers sweet and sour

    tell the truth.......smack them hard
     
  3. artful_dodger

    artful_dodger Member

    Appeal to their self interest. Unrestrained buying = less natural resources, but it also equals fewer personal resources. Maybe make a connection between what happens on a personal level with what happens on a global one...?

    A lot of conservation comes down not to buying your way to a cleaner environment, as companies like Origins suggest... it's buying less, and less processed, stuff altogether. For instance: don't sit there wondering whether you ought to shell out the extra buck for unbleached 100% recycled paper towels at the health food store... use a rag to clean up messes instead. Or, instead of buying the super-expensive all natural cleaner, use baking soda and vinegar for housecleaning.
     
  4. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Lifetime Supporter

    and tell us what you do know, bro!
    what are your main points?
    I do suggest purient self interest. I also do NOT suggest bringing up feminine items. you will lose your audeince. Quickly. (guess why I graduated 3.98 and not 4.0)
     
  5. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    it'd be an interesting read... has it been written yet? if so, can u post?
     
  6. liguana

    liguana Member

    artful_dodger you took the words right out of my mouth.

    I get kinda jaded when i walk into a health food store that's displaying all these enviro products when alternatives can be as simple as just using an old rag like you said.
     
  7. Bilby

    Bilby Freerangertarian Lifetime Supporter

    Try writing in quality English.
     
  8. Just demonstrate conservation by forgoing the paper to conserve, um, paper.
     
  9. Domesticated

    Domesticated Member

    I second that idea. Explain it in a manner that conservation would be empowering to their lives; not a drudgery or chore. Show them how a conservation-based lifestyle is fun and relatively carefree, as opposed to a consumerist lifestyle that demands a lot of money (and thus a lot of time at a job) to maintain.

    Also, if you're primarily addressing younger people (teens, twentysomethings) one of the best examples to use, in my opinion, would be the bicycle. The bicycle has so many positive attributes that can easily be conveyed to young people. Point out the scenario of a college student who uses a road bicycle for long distance travel (saves a lot of money since there is no need for gas or car insurance) and that his/her resulting physical fitness from such usage can enhance their self-image, attractiveness, provide many fun social opportunities in general (bike coops, clubs, touring, critical mass, "world naked bike ride day", etc) - all while not having to shell out money for gas, AND is environmentally friendly due to not emitting exhaust, all at the same time. Portrayal of these sorts of things in this light would potentially turn up the ears and interests of many people.
     
  10. I second everyone's notion here...

    another simple, but very effective point...consumerism as a trend tends to avoid responsibility to future generations. It is a fearful day to day survival mentality which pays more heed to the aquisition of personal wealth as opposed to preserving the world one's children are going to live in.

    Yes, I love my bicycle too, health/fitness, conservation and thriftiness rolled into one ;)
     
  11. yovo

    yovo Member

    I don't know what you have and havn't touched on but one item you should really get into to put both things into perspective as they relate to eachother (conservation and consumerism that is) is the idea of a products life-cycle and embodied energy. By life cycle I mean how the product was manufactured, used and disposed of. From the extraction of raw materials, to processing, right up to it's eventual packaging, and then the distance and means by which it traveled to reach the shelf. Then you have the actual use of the product which itself usually has some harmful spinoff such as the off-gassing of VOCs, greenhouse gasses and ozonators for example. Finally how is the product disposed of when it's served it's purpose or wears out/break(which things ALWAYS seem to do now, NOTHING is built to last anymore), is it recycled or thrown in a landfill? if it is recycled how energy intensive is the process? If it is thrown in a landfill how does it interact with the natural environment as it (if it does at all) decomposes?

    Embodied energy basicly is a measurement which takes all these factors into consideration and gives the entire process a tangible figure of kilo-jules, basicly the energy input that life-cycle required. For example, a nuclear power plant, only after 20 years of the reactors 30 year lifespan, will it actually offer an over all net gain, because it takes 20 years for it's output to match the embodied energy it took to build and operate the bloody place to begin with!!!

    An interesting tid-bit (and I'm sorry, this is just a fact that's stuck in my head, I've since forgotten the my initial source on this) the human race has consumed more since the 20th century then it has in it's entire existence leading up to that time. Throw that in there, and ask your readers the question as to whether or not a rate of consumption such as that can be sustained (the asnwer is HELLLLLLL NO).

    So ya, link the consumer to conservation, show them that their daily actions have a truely global impact, and convey to them that every time they open thier wallet and make a purchase (or not make one for that matter) they are casting a vote as to the fait of our planet and it's resources of sustainance.
     

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