When you stumble across the same unwanted piece of ‘news’ (or fact that you’ve been wanting to ignore) more than three times within a couple of days and in different magazines, you get the feeling you have to start taking this seriously.
What’s up? Well, it’s the old dilemma of consumer behaviour. Where some washing detergent companies do all they can to be sustainable: biodegradable, environmentally friendly, no chemicals and so on (niche companies), other companies (mainly A-brands) study the whole process from making to using and come up with the biggest problem: how the product is used. Because the ingenious part of the high-tech product developed is that we need less water, cold water, eco-programmes etc when washing our clothes, but as long as we do not do all this, we continue polluting. The companies are starting to say consumers really must change, but at the same time everyone acknowledges that there’s nothing so difficult as changing consumer behaviour.
I’ll give you an example. Not the washing machine, that one I can deal with as I am quite neutral when it comes to washing clothes. Taking a shower is a totally different story though. I know, I have known for several years, that long showers are bad: too much water and energy going down the drain. And not necessary to get clean, the main purpose of a shower. But I love long showers! I know I shouldn’t, environmentally speaking, but I really do not seem to be able to change this behaviour. Shower producers are now looking into adding air to the water stream, without less comfort less water and energy would be used. Perhaps easier than changing my behaviour?
There are countless of other examples to think of, which are general behaviour (not all mine!): unnecessary use of cars, general waste of water in the household, general waste of energy at home, treating products as disposables where they could have a longer life…
But these ‘sins’ are also treats in our busy lives. Surely we’re worth that…or not? How can we keep that part yet not be the cause of the problem but add to the solution? All ideas are welcome (and don’t put it all on the producing companies, we’re looking for real solutions here and that means we all have to be part of it!)
Over to you!