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Going Green Two Sides Fast Fact #36

By on January 7th, 2013

WhatTheyThink’s Going Green has joined forces with Two Sides to help address the “perceptions” that paper destroys forests, that electronic media are “greener” than print and paper, and that recycling is the solution to all environmental ills.

Fast-Fact-LogoBack before the holiday break, we mentioned the Re: Thinking Consumption: Consumers and the Future of Sustainability report conducted by BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility. Here we look at another of the survey’s questions and its responses. “A majority of respondents across all six markets say that “as a society, we need to consume a lot less to improve the environment for future generations,” including 66% overall, 76% in developing markets and 57% in developed markets saying this describes or completely describes them.”

Why Should You Care?

The report discusses the notion of “sustainable consumption” and I had questioned whether that wasn’t an oxymoron. I also question, if we are to reduce consumption, what the overall economic implications would be. So I was interested to see that the report highlights “emerging trends toward alternatives to consumption, including ‘making, repairing or reusing products rather than buying them new,’ with 45% of respondents globally, 50% in developing markets and 39% in developed markets saying they do this most or all of the time.” I wonder how much of this has been driven by the economic downturn following the Great Recession, and I have yet to be convinced that we can ever really reduce our consumption, at least voluntarily. Whilst I do like the idea of the aforementioned alternatives to consumption, we should also be ensuring that if we do consume, we try to make it as sustainable as we can. All human activities have some environmental impact, and lessening those impacts should be the prime directive of consumers as well as producers. The burden falls on all of us—we’re all in it together!

For more Two Sides facts see http://www.twosides.us/mythsandfacts.