One of the primary reasons for our tardy adoption of more sustainable lifestyles is that conspicuous consumerism is still perceived to be very cool. The advertising industry continuously bombards us with brightly colored promises of happiness-through-consumption, celebrities cruise around in massive cars and cover themselves with all manner of bling, and the self-destructive mindset of “keeping up with the Joneses” is still very much engrained in the public mindset.
This seriously needs to change. The fact is that human beings, young and old, have a fundamental desire to fit in, to be perceived as cool. Therefore, as long as the consumption of ever increasing quantities of miscellaneous stuff is perceived to be cool, we will remain a society of totally unsustainable consumers.
We desperately need to bring a new definition of cool to the public consciousness: sustainable living. Really, if you think about it, sustainability is super-cool. I don’t know about you, but if I see someone living a sustainable lifestyle, my respect for that person grows tremendously. A sustainable lifestyle implies that a person is highly informed about the state of the world, a great benefactor to future generations and a true leader setting the trend for others to follow.
Now just imagine that you learn about this person’s sustainable lifestyle, meet him/her to find a genuinely happy person just radiating vibrant health and then hear from someone else that this person is also financially secure and makes generous contributions to various important charities.
What would be your impression of such a person? Who do you think is cooler; this person or someone cruising around in the latest and biggest SUV (bought on credit)?
Think about it.
Filed under: Introduction – Key concepts