Re-Branding Environmentalism

Starting a bullet list here. What do people value, what are they willing (even if they have very limited income) to spend lots of their hard-earned money and time on? To me, an environmentalist seeking to popularize green living on a deep cultural level, it can feel discouraging that everyone’s willing to pay for cable TV, cruises, concert tickets, lawn-manicuring services, and other relatively expensive items, yet begrudge paying a few extra bucks to shop at a locally owned store instead of MegaLoMart. Or buy local organic produce; or grow some of their own. And why so many people (again, including people at the very low end of the income scale) are willing to pay several thousand dollars a year to own a car, but won’t pay a similar amount extra to live in an area where they can walk or bicycle to their jobs and just about everything else they need.

But instead of fighting that energy (which after all is just another force of nature like a stream or a waterfall or a breeze), we can align ourselves with it. By so doing, we can accomplish a green cultural shift naturally and with less effort.

Here’s my start on a bullet-list of things that are strongly valued by the dominant culture. Over time, as additions occur to me, I will fill this in with examples of eco activities that can feed in to each item. And possibly I will also add more list items.

• Entertainment

• Outdoor family fun

• Health, fitness

• Adventure, excitement

• Convenience

• Security

• Sex appeal

• Youthfulness

• Independence; freedom

• Stress relief

• Pets (pampering them, ensuring their safety and wellbeing)