Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
Dr. Seuss - The Lorax
Yesterday, I sat down and watched The Lorax and thought it had a really great message. Dr. Seuss really was ahead of his time to have the foresight to write such a compelling story that is more true today than it ever was. The movie demonstrates the power of corporate greed and how it can destroy our world in the name of profits. A little boy who doesn’t think he can make a difference is charged with the task of changing society and changing the way people think about trees. He does it.
I really enjoyed the comical cartoon animation. We’re used to hearing so many doom and gloom stories in the media about climate change and profits. Knowledge for the masses is still an issue, but I think there’s tons of information out there. I think the bigger issue is connecting to people in a way that matters to them. The Lorax does an excellent job of touching emotions and getting people to think differently by connecting to their hearts and minds. Better yet, it’s a cartoon for kids! What greater way to teach our future generation and deliver a positive message from childhood.
This movie teaches us that we have the power to do anything and change anything. Especially in today’s world of super-connectivity, resources abound, all it takes is one person to start stepping in the right direction, others will connect and follow and you could end up changing the world for the better. Let’s take back the power from large corporations and not let it get to the point where they start selling us air. Voting with your dollars to buy positively is a great place to start.
I hope you get a chance to sit down and watch this excellent movie, watch it with a kid in your life. What are some other great examples of delivering complex messages in a way that really connects to people? What’s your favorite cartoon with a purposeful message?
10 places to visit before they vanish.
It’s difficult to deal with the fact that this list exists and it is very real. We don’t have any control over the past, but we sure can paint a brighter future. I’d love to live in a world that has a list titled ‘10 places to visit that have been restored to their glory’
Whether it’s rising sea levels, desertification, torrential monsoons, melting glaciers or ocean acidification, climate change is rapidly altering the landscape of our planet. We may be one of the last generations to see some of the Earth’s most cherished places.
really weird living in an age where I have to worry about some of the most majestic sights that nature has to offer vanishing! :(
Do you know anyone who doesn’t want the world to be a better place? Have you ever heard someone say that they like to buy things that pollute the world? Are there really people out there who feel good about buying things that are knowingly produced using child labor? I know I don’t, yet so many people I know still do this, myself included. Why do we keep acting in opposition to our speech?
Seth Godin makes some excellent observations-
“We say we want local merchants to offer great service, deep selection and community values, but we cross the street to the big box store to save $3.
We say we want companies to honor their promises and act transparently, but one new product or big discount from a business that has deceived us in the past and we come right back for more.
We say we’re disgusted with Congress, but almost all of us vote to re-elect the dufus we sent there in the first place.
We say we hate spam, but we send it. And sometimes buy from it.
We say we’d like people to think first and act later, but we get cut off in traffic and all bets are off.
We say we love art, the brave work that touches us, but we listen to oldies and rarely head out to hear live music or visit a cutting edge gallery.”
Enough is enough. We say we want these things, but apparently not enough to actually do something about it. Talk is cheap, let’s act on what we want. We live in a world full of great options and we have access to the information we need to educate ourselves better about what we buy. It’s about time we match up our desires and our values with our actions and start buying positively.
Patagonia Founder On Why There’s No ‘Sustainability’
Kai Ryssdal: You might call Yvon Chouinard an accidental environmentalist. Sounds unkind, but I’m not saying anything the founder of Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company, doesn’t say about himself. As a younger man, Chouinard was a pioneering mountaineer. He started making climbing equipment in his parents’ backyard in the 1950s. And he’s since built a brand that anyone who’s ever gone on a hike knows about. He’s driven his company to profitability, and also activism. From the importance of paying a living wage to a defense of the environment, Patagonia reflects Chouinard’s vision of how companies ought to be run.
It’s a vision he details in his new book, “The Responsible Company.” In today’s Conversation from the Corner Office, Yvon Chouinard and the lessons he learned when his climbing gear pitons —that you hammer into the rock when you’re on the mountain — did more harm than good.
Yvon Chouinard: Yeah, well that was an unintended consequence of thinking we were doing the right thing. We made our pitons out of a harder steel so that they could be taken out and put in, taken out and put in, and last a long time. But it turned out when there got to be so many climbers around, putting ‘em in and taking ‘em out, it started destroying the rock. That was kind of our first lesson. The fact that we were causing the damage, so therefore we should do something about it.
Ryssdal: ‘Course there is that responsibility tax, right? Because I can come to Patagonia and spend $200 on a really useful coat, but I can go to the Gap and get one for $44.99.
Chouinard: Somebody said poor people can’t afford to buy cheap goods.
Ryssdal: Hmm, that’s a great line.
Chouinard: You can go to Costco and buy a blender, first time you put ice in it, it will blow out. Save up, wait until you can afford a really good one that will last the rest of your life.
Ryssdal: This book is an evangelical book in the very secular sense. You want people to read this and change the way they do business. Do you care, though, why they change? Is it OK if they’re doing it for the good PR and for the benefits that they might get from good publicity or is it important that they do it for the right reasons?
Chouinard: No, it doesn’t matter why they do it as long as they do it. I think if you start out on that process of trying to be more responsible, after a while you realize how good it feels. It becomes a habit. This millenium generation, these young people, are going to demand that from you. Everybody’s making the same stuff and the consumer has the final say.
Ryssdal: Do you ever sit back and think how interesting it is that you, a 70-what 73-, 74-year-old guy is trying to give the millennials what they want?
Chouinard: Yeah, I never thought I’d come to this at all. I do this because I’m very pessimistic about the fate of the planet. I think there’s another way of doing business that is less harmful.
Ryssdal: I found it interesting that — and you make a point of this actually — you don’t talk about sustainability a lot. You say that’s kind of overused and it’s become a little bit cheapened.
Chouinard: Yeah, it’s like gourmet. You get gourmet hamburgers now. It’s a watered-down word. There is no sustainability as far as any human, economic endeavor. We’re polluters here and we recognize that. All you can do is work towards minimizing the damage that you do. You’ll never be sustainable.
Ryssdal: You, Patagonia, is in a number of associations and organizations with Wal-Mart, which I just find fascniating. You’d think you guys would be uneasy bedfellows, at best.
Chouinard: Yeah, we’ve been advising them and working with them on creating a sustainability index for clothing. Within a few years, a customer will be able to go into a department store and they can zap the barcode with their little electronic gizmo, whatever it is in a few years. And it’ll give a grade on how the labor practices were in making that pair of jeans, and all the environmental impacts, and there will be a grade. So the customer will be able to say, ‘Oh this is a two, this is a 10. I’m going to buy the 10.’
Ryssdal: When you started, however many years ago it was, did you ever think you’d be sitting here running a company that’s trying to change the world?
Chouinard: No, absolutely not. I’m not very good at thinking into the future. I kind of live for the day.
Ryssdal: Oh, come on. I don’t actually believe that.
Chouinard: No, I’m not that good at it.
Ryssdal: What’s next then? There’s more, right?
Chouinard: Well, as soon as you leave I’m going surfing.
Ryssdal: Oh man. Yvon Chouinard, thanks very much for your time.
Chouinard: Oh, you’re welcome. Thank you.
(Illustration via Men’s Journal)
Is “Occupy Consumerism” just around the corner?
TIME’s 2011 Person of the Year is The Protester
“As soon as you cross the line of fear it just happens,” explained Shima’a Helmy (PopTech 2011) in detailing how she began protesting in Egypt and has become one of the country’s youngest activists who led that country’s uprising.
Now a full-time human rights activist, Helmy joined filmmakers and friends Micah Garen and Marie-Helene Carlton onstage at PopTech to talk about their collaboration on an upcoming documentary film If. The film will explore what it’s like being a young revolutionary through the eyes of four different Egyptian women (including Helmy), although as Garen states, their story is far from over.