I think that your opinion in grouping all digital businesses together is a little wrong. Just because some are polluters doesn`t make all of them this way.
With all due respect, every single one of us is a polluter, whether we like it or not. When I say "digital businesses" I mean anyone who relies on computer technology to do what they do. Fact is, the computer industry is a brutal polluter across the board by definition—the materials and components are highly toxic (e.g. CRT screens and even LCDs). Nothing you or I can do about that except make informed choices—purchase LCDs (which have less mercury, etc.) and push the manufacturers to find new—sustainable—ways of building their machines. In addition to the actual hardware, you`ve got the issue of energy consumption. Every server sucks energy. Again, it`s about informed decisions. I`m in the process of researching hosting, for example, to try and find one that is both reliable and is powered by renewable energy (my current host just buys carbon credits, which is iffy).
I hate to burst your bubble, but ALL OF US rely on computers these days, which implicates us in the supply chain. ALL OF US are polluters and are adding to the environmental problems we see in the world. Which is why it is so important for EACH of us to cop to it and start trying to take steps towards a more sustainable way of doing, purchasing, using, etc. Instead of getting upset at being called out, just admit it and move on. Try to find a better solution. People keep getting offended
that they`re being held accountable for their own actions. It`s time to move on.
I also think that "green extremism" puts people off. For example, many people can make a difference doing small things, like walking instead of driving, or carpooling instead of driving alone.
But when you start getting down to every little number and spend 20 minutes analyzing cloth napkins vs paper ... not only do you make people feel wrong, but you make them feel that every bit isn`t counting. This actually *hurts* the effort towards sustainability, not helps. Because if they thought they were helping by doing ______ and you tell them it`s wrong/not enough/whatever ... people will just stop bothering. Heck, if they have been using cloth napkins when they really wanted to use paper towels, and that turned out wrong ... they might as well start using their car again! Screw it.
I think this shouldn`t be about "green perfection" ... it should be about doing whatever we can to make it better, one bit at a time. More "baby steps" and less "in your face".
Who said anything about perfection or extremism? Please don`t put words in my mouth. I can only assume your comment about cloth vs. paper napkins refers to the recent entry on my Small Failures
blog? If you had read further, you actually would have discovered that my approach is far from demanding perfection from anyone. The blog offers practical, useful advice for how to slowly and bit-by-bit
incorporate sustainability into your daily life. The whole point
of it is that perfection is impossible, so we need to instead address the daily (and small) habits and choices that we each make every day.
I`m sorry that you feel spending 20 minutes analyzing whether or not your actions are bad for the environment is a waste of time but quite frankly, that`s why we`re in the trouble we`re in. And 20 minutes spent worrying about the napkins you use seems to me to be a far easier decision than deciding to never drive again, no?
Seems to me that the more we avoid the little decisions, the easier it is to avoid the big ones. Hence climate change and water shortages and all the other problems we`ve brought on ourselves. I guess I`m just tired of hearing people complain that they`re being treated unfairly for simply being held accountable. Is this really what we`ve come to?
And honestly, I`m a little surprised that I`m being taken to task for helping people find small ways that they can make a difference. I`m sorry if you feel like throwing up your hands and just saying "screw it," but don`t put that on me. That`s your reaction, and it`s not me that`s causing it. Over a thousand people every month read Small Failures and the bulk of them think it`s very cool that there`s a non-preachy resource out there holding their hand through the difficult process of learning about these issues. Clearly, you`re not one of them and that`s just fine. I don`t tell people what to do, and I don`t tell people that they`re doing something wrong. If you don`t like people pointing out facts, that`s a whole different story. Judgment has nothing to do with it, though.
| Notes From the Rodeo
Strategic communications without the selling of souls.