I guess being sustainable should make you feel good, but does anyone else see the irony of shopping for the planet and being rewarded with air miles.

Air Miles - My Planet

The thought of flying off to some exotic tropical island with all the hard earned “sustainable” air miles gets me pulling out the credit card – I’ve got to save my planet!

An excellent book, “Plan C – Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change”, by Pat Murphy shows just how much influence the media has in our consumption. Seeing an advertisement like this, we need to first recognize that the objectives are:

  1. to sell as many products as possible,
  2. at the highest price possible,
  3. whether you need to product or not,
  4. and to do it all again next month.

In the US, about $276 billion dollars a year are spent on advertising campaigns such as this, (about $900 a person) – they are trying to convince you to buy their product through them while making it appear your choice – the creation of artificial needs.

You can still feel good and save the planet, just don’t do it the way the advertising corporations want you to! Simplify your life and purchases, and rather than shopping for the cheapest, or the most rewards, if a locally made product is available buy it, if there is a local independent vendor, shop there. Our choices need to be informed not by the media company’s client direction, but by opportunities to become more locally resilient communities.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

3 replies on “Feel Good and Save the Planet”

  1. All this talk about "saving the planet". The planet doesn't need to be saved. The earth will go on being a planet with or without our efforts.
    Lets call it what it is – "saving ourselves".

  2. EMJ, how true. I remember all the ‘save the planet’ talk back in university and being struck with how ridiculous the statement was. The earth has been through far worse than what us humans are throwing at it and it keeps turning and evolving through ice ages, mass extinctions, and so on. Really, humans are just another species, and there is nothing real special about us, except that we are hardwired with greed. Unfortunately, the greed thing doesn’t work out too well given us having evolved with the brains to quickly drain the resources that our entire civilization has been built upon. The earth will be just fine, but will we? Species rise and fall, we just seem to be hastening our demise……

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