Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Earth Day Cheepskate


Quitmoanez said...

F'n Canadians.

Anonymous said...

umm...looking at the demographics they tested, it kind of makes sense. yet, these same people will without blinking buy a 4 dollar coffee. I'm generalising and I like it. ;P

cara said...

I guess my question is: Why are manufacturers allowed to make products that are bad for the earth if there are alternatives?

so funny, how everything even our citizenship is viewed as consumer choices...weird.

furniture designer said...

I find that I'm up against this same kind of thing when dealing with furniture. Most conventional foams/fibres in commercial furniture is oil based, and there are bio-polyols which are plant based foams that are better for the environment, but since the oil based ones are already in place and there is high demand, the plant based ones have little chance in being produced. The smaller runs of the plant based foams are pricier, and it's a cost that you can't transfer to the consumer because, as the article suggests, most Canadians are more concerned about price.

Canadians are seen as green only because we have an environment that is still relatively unscathed(sans tar sands), but our practises are still horrible.

Leather is horrible for the environment!

The Disclaimer said...

The only way to level the playing field is to tax the hell out of cheap non-environmental products, and as the attitudes expressed in the article illuminate there is absolutely no political will for that among our Wal-Mart shopping majority.

The other alternative, and my personal preference, is just to buy less and use less. The story is a bit misleading because it insists that Canadians would rather buy cheaper when the reality is that many want to spend less at Safeway so that they spend more at Best Buy. We are programmed to skimp here only so that we may splurge there, and so spending more on stuff that is supposedly green seems absurd to most people (I admit to wondering at times how much stuff that is "environmentally friendly" is just marketed as such).

In a consumption-based economy/society you will never have people making choices based on what is "environmentally friendly" because they are paid in dollars and live to spend those dollars for their immediate gratification—they are only too happy to believe that the environment will take care of itself. And the truth is, it will take care of itself, I just feel bad for the ones who'll live to see it.

c-dog said...

I feel sorry for them too.

Lauren said...

1-- leather is horrible, yep. So is the factory farming production of meat (and veggies, too).

2-- yep, tax the hell out of cheap stuff so that we pay the *real* cost-- the short and long-term enviro cost and, ideally, real living wages for the people who produce these goods.

Or, as Disc says, even more ideally, figure out a way to stop consuming so much and go back to local economies. (And by "figure out a way to stop consuming so much" I mean, really, all of us just not buying and wasting so much.)

word verif: boolorte

Anonymous said...

whoops. that was WolfBoy.

donmaximo said...

I'd be interested in seeing what age range this poll targeted. "Adult" can be a pretty broad term. I'd also like to see how this poll stands up against a similar poll of say, 20 years ago. Has the percentage of environmentally conscious shoppers increased dramatically, even if they only represent 1/4 of the total? If so, I'd say this poll isn't as damning as it sounds. It's my experience that, generally speaking, my own generation and those following me are significantly more environmentally conscious then our "elders" (take the blue box program for example) - yet we'd all be classified as "adults". As humans I think we so often tend to think in terms of time only in relation to our own life span i.e. if in the last 150 years the most recent 20 have seen our environmental awareness jump from nil to 25% of the population (or poll) that's a pretty big leap in (relatively speaking) a short span of time. It takes a long time to alter the habits of a society and culture. So often I feel that we are too quick to undermine the significance of our progress because we view it in such a narrow field of perception.

Anonymous said...

Good point. One of the symptoms of our younger generations is immediate gratification...our reactions reflect that as well.

wolfBoy said...

i agree, too, with DonMax's point here.

five years ago (in Harper's first election win) "green" issues weren't even on the radar. literally. look back at election materials, Youtube vids, etc, and no one was even *discussing* these issues.

now, everyone from school board trustees to candidates for the U.S. presidency wouldn't even dream of running a campaign without a strong "green" strategy, even if it's only lip service.

so i agree that this poll only considers one facet.

yes, there's a long ways to go, but a shift in consciousness has certainly taken place. how that will play out in action remains to be seen.