There's no doubt that there is something inherently consumptive about 1500 people traveling to a big city and shacking up in a big hotel and being on their laptops and mobiles and Flipcams all day...not to mention eating, drinking and generally making trouble.
I hope Jes's post makes the point that big things are awesome (like the fact that Michelin is offsetting 200 tons of CO2...the approximate burden our conference creates) but that small things matter to. Like providing our 50-page conference brochure in an online-only format that we encourage people not to print if they can possibly avoid it. Or going with buffets instead of box lunches like we had last year, so to avoid all that packaging.
There's always further to go, but I'm proud of what we are improving each year to be greener and yet greener. This year we had and awesome Green Team helping us, so check them out!
I had a conference call with some green bloggers, and the subject of
incrementalism came up.
didn’t actually call it “incrementalism”, but that’s what we were talking
about. You know, should you laud a company for taking baby steps to improve the
eco-friendliness of a product that’s essentially not that eco-friendly at its
essence. For example: Do you praise a company for improving packaging or
materials used or manufacturing processes or distribution channels…for a
disposable razor? Sure, they’re lowering the impact, but isn’t the whole idea
of the disposable razor the antithesis of green?
reminds me very much of the vegetarian vs. vegan, or animal welfare vs. animal
rights arguments. It goes something like this: Making conditions more humane
for animals destined to be slaughtered just lets people feel all warm and fuzzy
about something that is still, essentially, inhumane. It may, in fact, deter
real, lasting, permanent change for the better because it makes us feel like
taking those incremental steps is “good enough”.
you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably already
know where I stand: Baby steps are better than no steps. Sure, lots of steps,
full-on big huge steps are better than baby steps, but when you find the person
who actually achieves perfection, the person who is taking every step there is
to take to be humane, ethical, green, etc. when that person emerges to prove it
can be done, then I might start raising my standards higher.
long as passionate green bloggers are still, inexplicably, meat-eaters…despite
all the evidence that not eating meat (and dairy and eggs) is one of the most
powerful individual steps we all can control to be more eco-friendly…I will
continue to be grateful for the good work they do. And look forward to the day
they do more. (And to the day when I do more, too, no doubt about it.)
you call it pragmatic or defeatist, I don’t think people or companies will
change overnight. So I see tremendous value in reducing our respective footprints,
our negative impact. Whether you call it pragmatic or defeatist, I don’t think
we will eliminate, be it practices,
products or services, until we reduce.
why, even though I went first vegetarian, and then vegan, over night in each
case, I’m all for incrementalism for other people, for companies, for governments.