Tag Archives: consumerism

partnering for our urban good

nyc-transportation-alternativesPSFK reported last week on NYC’s Transportation Alternatives program Nine for ’09.   NYCTA been around since 1973 and they’ve done some tremendous advocacy work in the areas of bicycling , walking and taking public transportation to reclaim New York’s streets from the automobile. They have already announced their September NYC Century Bike Tour and clearly they’ve got some talented design folks on their side.

The question I have is why haven’t they enlisted corporate support? Nike Considered Products, Trek bicycles, Timbukt2 bags would be perfect “urban” supporters –  to name a very few. All of these could develop some pretty cool high-profile retail promotional programs around what are already some really well-thought out events.

With a population’s increasing attention on what’s happening locally, for the city by the city, companies would do well to give-back in a way that  parallels what our overstretched and under-funded gov’t is attempting to do.    Tapping existing, smartly run and well-marketed programs is just the way to do that.

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carbon consumerism

Innovation is born of necessity.  And strangely the carbon cap and trade system just might fit into that category.  History has proven that we need crisis to catalyze change.  And then it requires everyone, and I mean everyone, to understand and participate in the solution.  So while the cap and trade system is targeted at businesses, consumers will play a huge reinforcement role.  Enter ideas like the Carbon Quotient Project.  The CQ is an extension of similar concepts launched in Thailand and Japan that essentially strive to create a standard unit for product labels.  Much like the nutritional fact labels that adhere to all packaged food products, the CQ could give us GHG’s emitted, reduced or otherwise advise on a stand unit of measure for the carbon footprint of each product.  We, the consumer, then have the ability to offset our bag of potato chips or bottle of beer by riding our bike to work or simply not purchasing.  There are actually a million different behaviors that this could launch but the bottom line is that we would start to become educated relative to a standard unit (so the theory goes), hold businesses accountable and gradually start to bring about global responsibility and accountability for how businesses are impacting the deteriorating environment around us.   It has been said before but change is incremental.