Slavoj Zizeck is a modern thinker that has done a great job of critiquing the overarching assumptions in our society when it comes to power dynamics and the insidiousness of neoliberalism. In the video above his views on capitalistic consumption are summed up rather nicely. It’s worth the ten minute coffee break to watch it. Just be conscious of where you get your coffee from.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle is a mantra heard time and time again. Yet, not everyone follows it (remember that they are in that order for a reason: reduce what you consume in the first place, then reuse what you can, and recycle the rest). It can be easy though. When you do buy stuff (remember that you should try not to buy things – reduce) buy recycled because there are a ton of reasons from energy consumption to sending a message. Over at Grist they compiled a compendium of reasons to buy recycled.
Still, I’d encourage you to continue buying the 100-percent recycled stuff if you can — for foil as well as any other product — for so many reasons. Recycled content saves natural resources, so we can mine fewer metals, cut down fewer trees, and tap less petroleum. It uses less energy to produce, sometimes dramatically so; recycled aluminum can be whipped up with 95 percent less power than virgin aluminum. Recycled material slashes pollution and saves water, too. And let’s not forget it prevents our consumer castoffs from languishing away in a landfill.
Alex Laskey wants to lower people’s energy consumption by using tricks and practices from the world of behavioural science. It sounds great and would be great to see implemented, check out his TED talk for more:
With more technology around the home more energy is required to power the devices, and this adds up when millions of people plug things in. There are enough energy consumers out there that needlessly leave things running leads to a ton of wasted energy being produced. Fortunately there are many easy things you can do to help save energy and money.
U.S. households spend about $100 per year to power devices in low-power mode, around 8 percent of home electricity expenses, according to the government’s Energy Star program. Your water heater, lighting, air conditioner, and heater are the biggest energy hogs. The good news is that you can cut your energy bills without spending a fortune to do it.
Starting today, consumer tracking program Air Miles will begin rewarding people with points when they make environmentally friendly purchases.
But whereas previous initiatives were intended to inspire a single socially conscious decision, “these [programs] have a permanent effect,” Souvaliotis said.
“If you find a way to create a trickle of reward for the consumer, then you’re actually supporting a change in behaviour,” he said. “Not only will these [programs] start to bring a lot more people to this type of behaviour, but they will stick to this behaviour.”
Souvaliotis, an occasional blogger for The Huffington Post, is not shy about the success of — or his vision for — Air Miles for Social Change, which he says is the “world’s first ever — and to this point only — social venture that’s built entirely inside a loyalty points program.”