Blog: Easing the pain of going green

Catherine Sleep | 22 April 2004

Many of us like to feel we are good stewards and “do our bit” for the environment. But often it all feels like too much effort. Reducing packaging, buying fair trade, using efficient energy sources, taking the bus or bike instead of the car… it’s all possible but often we take the easier option and pay no heed to our conscience.

The UK’s National Consumer Council has come up with a proposal that should offer encouragement to green almost-wannabes. The NCC is suggesting a scheme for a smart card that consumers can use to acquire points for activities such as separating waste, buying sustainable products or having broken goods repaired rather than buying replacements. Points could then be redeemed for rewards such as cinema tickets or public transport vouchers.

I like it – with this kind of thing the carrot might prove a lot more effective than the stick, and it might just give consumers that extra little incentive actually to implement practices they already, in principle, support.

Sustainability rewarded


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