Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Live Earth and eco-marketing

After millions of people from New Jersey to Antarctica witnessed live earth concerts last saturday, the debate about the sucess and influence of the project is upon us. The aim of the concert series (besides rasing funds) was to create awareness about the climate-change. But here is where things go wrong in my opinion:

The awareness already exists and in no way changes the behavior of the people. It can be safely assumed (especially after the recent media frenzy) that almost everyone knows about global warming and the dangers associated with it. Buzzwords such as “sustainability” and “energy saving” are flying around everybody’s head, but the concepts are too abstract, too distant to be really absorbed by most individuals.

Earlier, as I walked out of the company bathroom, I left the light on (just like everyone else does) and continued back to my office. About two steps into the hallway, I turned around on an impulse, opened the bathroom door, hit the light switch and started my way back to work again. Now, sitting in front of my computer, I realize that this simple act gave me a complacent, maybe undeserved sense of self-satisfaction. The feeling that I did my part in some way. I wasn’t wasting a single thought about penguins dying of heat, desertification or climate change. In my opinion this is exactly what should be advertised. Instead of calling for people to save the world, we should start a campaign to sell people “peace of mind”. The price? Just do a little bit to conserve energy or resources.

Just imagine a TV commercial told you that you had every right to feel like a hero, just because you walked to the store today, instead of taking your car… I know I would be walking a lot more

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