Aside from our widespread culture of consumerism and entitlement, another great barrier to sustainable living exists: the fact that it can be quite impractical within our modern society. Stuff like home renewable energy generation systems, electric cars, e-bikes and organic food can be a lot of effort to get hold of. In addition, the public is very poorly informed about the very attractive incentives and long term financial benefits of such solutions. And finally, people are simply deterred from taking such vital actions because of the good old fear of the unknown.
The second part of my dream is that this problem be addressed by setting up something called a “sustainable living information center” in major cities around the world. Such a sustainable living information center (or SLIC for short) would have one simple purpose: to give concerned consumers instant access to all the area-specific information they need to go green with the very least amount of effort imaginable.
The SLIC would make available all the information on local businesses that can install renewable energy generation systems and rainwater harvesting systems, offer sustainable transportation methods like electric vehicles and e-bikes, offer home insulation services, are certified to build passive houses, handle e-waste in a responsible manner, make home food deliveries, offer financing for renewable energy investment loans or any other area-specific sustainable living-related thing that you can think of. The SLIC will also serve as a central hub for collecting practical experience on sustainable living so that consumers face no practical glitches while revamping their lives for sustainability. In the end, a SLIC will simply remove all of the hassle currently associated with going green, thereby making it the default choice.
In addition, the SLIC will also offer a wide range of other information such as identifying the most environmentally friendly and healthiest foodstuffs and other consumables currently available, the most environmentally friendly businesses, job vacancies in the local green industry, green business opportunities for entrepreneurs, and all possible information on how to get some regular physical exercise in that particular city. Such a service will allow consumers to constantly stay up to date with all of the most sustainable consumption choices so that sustainable consumption becomes totally natural and effortless.
Finally, the SLIC will collect and publically disseminate a whole range of performance data on the particular city within which it is located, the country within which it is located and the entire world. These data will indicate, in real time, the progress that we as the billion wealthiest individuals are making towards a sustainable future. This will include things like the HPI and GPI indicators, the average carbon and ecological footprint, state-delivered electricity usage, oil usage, green infrastructure sales, red meat consumption, average income and a breakdown of average expenditures, total consumer loans, average rate of saving/investment, current account balance, city council and government budget deficits or surpluses etc. All of this information will be centralized and easily accessible to any member of the public.
As with all start-ups, initial funding for establishing a SLIC might be hard to come by, but if there is one service for which the demand is absolutely guaranteed to increase with time, it is this one. Anyone who manages to navigate the notorious business start-up phase will therefore be richly rewarded in the future – both financially and emotionally. Also, as with everything else on this blog, these ideas are completely free of any copyright and are at the disposal of anyone who might be interested in taking them further (no strings attached whatsoever).