"The bottom line is that green shopping, even when practiced by millions of people, just doesn’t add up to enough to affect the system. Sociologists call this the behavior-impact gap.." (Source: NY Times)
Excellent contribution by Annie Leonard ("The Sory of Stuff") to an interesting NY Times debate on sustainability, green consumption and system change.
“Our real source of power to make a difference is through changing the polices and structures in which production and consumption happen, and we do that through civic engagement, not better shopping. So shop responsibly. Just be sure that’s where you start, not where you stop. “
“New report finds that a growing number of people across Europe are changing the ways in which they live, move, and consume in exchange for higher quality, less impact on the environment, and that saves money.”
This report (“Sustainable Lifestyles: Today’s Facts & Tomorrow’s Trends”) published by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) is the outcome of a research project financed by the EU Commission called SPREAD Sustainable Lifestyles 2050.
Unfortunately a lot of the great work done in such EU research projects remains totally invisible to the media and policymakers as the academics leading the research consortia as well as the project leaders in the Commission seem to be incapable of communicating the results of their work in an efficient way.
A new report by the World Economic Forum makes the case for an emergency transformation to sustainable consumption in a resource-constrained world.
The report "More with less: scaling sustainable consumption and resource efficiency" is an absolute must-read.
More about this report on this blog from tomorrow. Read already Simon Zadek’s evaluation: “Sustainability’s Cinderella – Us!”.
“2012 is not going to be easy. But these apps will help you navigate the likely turbulence of the next 12 months.” (Source: Greenbiz.com)
Sally Uren of the UK’s Forum for the Future presents 3 sustainability trends for 2012: rethink capitalism, get serious about collaborative consumption and take sustainability to the consumer. Interesting read.
“A new study finds that Britons are consuming less than they did a decade ago, with similar patterns being seen across Europe. Could this be the beginning of a trend in developed countries? Might we be reaching “peak stuff”?”
Interesting article in the Yale Environment360 blog: are we witnessing a decline in resource use in developed countries?
The article by science journalist Fred Pearce is based on a research paper by UK environmentalist Chris Goodall called “Peak Stuff”.
See also George Monbiot’s analysis of the Peak stuff study.
BBC News has this provocative article on the raw materials and resources we use in our global economy. The boring statistics of how much stuff we need are translated into an understandable but disturbing metaphor.
The article is based on the free online book “Sustainable Materials with both eyes open” produced by Dr Julian Allwood and colleagues at Cambridge University,
Greenpeace 2011 Guide to greener electronics is out. It ranks leading mobile phone, TV and PC manufacturers on policies and practices to reduce their impact on the climate, produce greener products, and make their operations more sustainable.
HP takes top spot, closely followed by Dell.
”Everyone believes that consumption is out of control. But is it? From food to paper and water, Britain has gradually been guzzling less over the last decade. Why? “
Exciting article in the Guardian: has the UK reached "peak stuff" and do we see the first signs of real decoupling between economic growth and resource use? Chris Goodall, Tim Jackson and Andrew Simms take on the debate.
- Climate change: Is there a need to ban ozone-saving chemicals (HFCs)? Read FT (“Campaigners press for global ban on HFCs”), Climate Change Corp and Science Daily.
- Climate change: New authoritative study predicts “global collapse”. See article in The Independent and read the 10-page executive summary of the 2009 State of the Future report.
- Aviation: Can aviation industry develop sustainable fuels? See Environmental Leader.
- Biofuels: Steve Levine on Exxon’s algae adventure in Business Week.
- Sustainable Consumption and Production: Wall-Mart to measure its social and environmental impact (CNN Money). Inspired by EU’s Retail Forum? Read also the more skeptical analysis by Joel Makower.