Do you ever consider the larger systems in which our individual choices are embedded? In this fascinating article, Michaela Barnett makes the case that while our individual choices matter, we must also turn our attention to the corporations who produce unsustainable products and services, and the politicians who perpetuate these systems of production (e.g. through subsidies). She encourages us to turn our guilt into anger at corporate greed. Though there are no direct references to specific actions that can be taken, this is an interesting complement to the idea that our individual choices lead to social change. Clearly, we need to work at both the individual and collective levels for real change to occur. Here's the article. Enjoy!
Article on Sustainable Consumption, Corporations & Individual Choice
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July 28, 2020 08:51 PM
Thanks for your comment. I've just read that Chicago Tribune article:
"The shift from Keep America Beautiful's bland admonishments about litter to the Crying Indian did not represent an embrace of ecological values but instead indicated industry's fear of them."
Wow, what a line!!
Thanks so much for sharing.
Thank you for sharing that great article, Julie! The theme behind it reminded me of the backstory of Keep America Beautiful and the “Crying Indian” PSA. For so long I didn’t realize KAB was established by beverage and packaging corporations that wanted to avoid accountability (and regulations) for the waste they produced, so they created the messaging that put the blame on the consumer, AND the responsibility for cleaning it up! There’s a bunch of stuff written about it; here’s one article, "The 'Crying Indian' ad that fooled the environmental movement.”
And I agree, I hate the "either/or" framing...we definitely need to do both, push for systemic change while doing what we can on the individual level.