You can’t argue with the logic of sustainability. It makes perfect sense—if we want humanity to last, we need to start saving the planet now.
So why has progress been so slow? Why are people still driving SUVs instead of hybrids? Why aren’t homeowners lining up to install solar panels on their rooftops? Why don’t they understand?
The truth is, when we implore people to adopt sustainable practices, what we’re really suggesting is that they voluntarily lower their standard of living now for the sake of future generations they will likely never know. It’s a lot to ask.
If we want consumer behaviour to change quickly, we need to offer some short-term rewards, and consequences. In this special report, Maclean’s examines ways to do that. For starters, we should stop government subsidies that actively encourage people to waste resources. If something is cheap, we waste it—so why do governments insist on policies that keep prices low for water, electricity and food?
We also look at how to better market the green movement—the most effective ways to convince people to buy into sustainability. And we examine the smartest, cheapest and most innovative environmental ideas out there—everything from solar power solutions that can actually make you money, to seaweed wraps for your home.
Changing our culture of waste and environmental insensitivity is a tough task. It’s time we got started.
One colossal waste —Are higher water, hydro and food bills just what we need to force us to conserve?
The eco-sell — Green marketing can change the world. It can also help firms reap big profits.
10 ways to help save the planet — From fake trees to showering with friends—these ideas might even save you money