Shopping with Intent: Dead People Don’t Shop

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In a world where the effects of climate change are slowly being recognized as an exigent threat to our planetary way of life, is there a way to shop with responsible companies who understand that the very nature of consumerism is oxymoronic?

To consume more, to produce more means there is a price tag in the environment thanks to developing, manufacturing and shipping things around the world. How do we square this circle?

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This is a conversational live-cast where listeners can share their concerns, ask questions, engage in conversation around the topics of climate transformation and the environmental consequences of our planet’s growing climate disaster.

October 24, 2019; Season 12, Episode 3 (Fire)

Thursdays at 8 pm EST / 5 pm PST

DIAL-IN AND LISTEN (Yes, you can talk, too)

A Good Men Project Convocast

Call-In: (701) 801-1220 | Meeting ID: 934-317-242

Led by: Thaddeus Howze and Carol Bluestein

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https://goodmenproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2019-10-25-592-1.mp3

DEAD PEOPLE DON’T SHOP

By Thaddeus Howze

Inherent in every supermarket, shopping mall, warehouse or outlet you walk into, there is the oxymoron embedded into the capacity to have so many choices in a single place: This is unsustainable.

To truly pay attention to the extravagance of the supermarket is to remember that less than two generations ago, (about sixty to seventy-five years ago) such a fabulous concentration of food, products and resources in a single building would have been beyond the belief system of anyone alive back then.

It is only through an irresponsible development of resources, a strip-mining of the planet’s environmental bounty, can such a building exist today. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at just a few of the aspects of a supermarket which make it just shy of a dream a hundred years ago.

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THE HUMBLE TIN CAN

The humble tin can: Contemptuously ignored by almost anyone who uses them, the tin can requires multiple mineral mines, processes and refineries to create mine the metals and manufacture the cans to which billions of tons of food are transported around the world on a weekly basis. Here’s some perspective…

“The world’s beer and soda consumption uses about 200 billion aluminium cans every year. This is 6,700 cans every second – enough to go around the planet every 17 hours.

“Aluminium is energy demanding: It takes more energy to mine and produce aluminium than any other metal. The energy it takes to make 4 soda cans is equivalent to filling 1 of these cans with gasoline.

“Huge saving potential: 2 percent of the world’s energy use is spent on producing aluminium. Producing aluminium from recycled aluminium cans only takes 5 percent of the energy needed to produce new aluminium.”

https://www.theworldcounts.com/…/world…/aluminium_cans_facts

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This is only talking about cans in your supermarket. There is also glass and paper used in nearly every product sold on any shelf, anywhere. A fantastic volume of resources by any stretch of the imagination…

By spending more of our money with environmentally-aware, ecologically-responsible, and economically-committed organizations who have put their money squarely into being the future of climate-responsible consumer product development.

Being environmentally aware is a problematic stance for many corporations. It costs more to make your products climate-responsible, biodegradable, and energy-efficient to produce. Most companies can’t do everything at once. They commit to an aspect of development where they concentrate on reducing, reusing, redefining or restoring the environmental aspects of their company.

Many of these changes will take place over years, phasing out old technologies and replacing them with newer ones, but the drive is there and it is the effect of people with vision, meeting customers demanding action.

It’s a start. In the last few months, dozens of companies have realized the necessity (and perhaps the potential) of being a company who can appeal to new demographics and recognize the need to change how we are doing business, if humanity is to continue to have a future to sell people things in.

The axiom: “Dead People Don’t Shop,” should become the slogan for any company who hasn’t figured out they need to be part of this revolution, or be replaced by people who understand this and are willing to do the homework necessary to be part of the new environmentally-sound capitalist market slowly rising from the ashes of the slash and burn capitalism of the last century.

I am going to share a list of articles which feature dozens of companies in various states of commitment. As you read them, note the names which are coming up again and again. The earlier they figured this out, and the more they committed to the idea, the faster they retooled their business, gaining cache and media awareness as they grew. One of the biggest examples of this is Patagonia, whose CEO told Forbes his perspective on the future of business in a climate challenged world:

“For decades, many corporations have single-mindedly pursued profits at the expense of everything else—employees, communities and the air, land and water we all share,” Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario wrote in a blog post explaining why the company plans to close for business during the strike. “Now we face a dangerously hot and fast-changing climate that is exacerbating natural disasters, causing food and water shortages, and speeding us toward the biggest economic catastrophe in history. The plain truth is that capitalism needs to evolve if humanity is going to survive.”

Repeat after me until it sticks: Dead People Don’t Shop.

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CLIMATE STRIKE AND THE COMPANIES ENGAGED IN IT

by Fast Company

On September 20, people around the world will stop work to focus attention on the climate crisis. To support them, many businesses are shutting down or giving workers time off to protest.

If you try to go to Patagonia’s Manhattan store early in the afternoon on Friday, you won’t be able to shop. The company is one of a handful of retailers—including Lush, Burton, and Ben and Jerry’s—that will close stores temporarily during the Global Climate Strike, a youth-led week of protests beginning with several demonstrations on September 20. Burton, for example, will shut down sales on its website for 24 hours, redirecting customers to the Global Climate Strike homepage.

It will also turn its physical stores into a community gathering space before and after marches and give employees paid time off to join demonstrations. Ben and Jerry’s shops will be closed during the strike (or delay opening), the company’s offices will close, and manufacturing will slow down so that factory workers can participate in the strike. Seventh Generation is donating its commercial airtime for the week to youth climate strikers. Hundreds of others are participating in the “digital climate strike,” adding banners about the strike to their website and taking other actions online.

“For decades, many corporations have single-mindedly pursued profits at the expense of everything else—employees, communities and the air, land and water we all share,” Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario wrote in a blog post explaining why the company plans to close for business during the strike. “Now we face a dangerously hot and fast-changing climate that is exacerbating natural disasters, causing food and water shortages, and speeding us toward the biggest economic catastrophe in history. The plain truth is that capitalism needs to evolve if humanity is going to survive.”

Here’s a list of the companies that are participating in the strike in some way, based on information from the nonprofit 350.org and the American Sustainable Business Council. (Please contact us to add your business to the list.) At other companies, like Amazon, the strike will be a true one—the company hasn’t sanctioned time off, but hundreds of employees plan to walk off the job to protest Amazon’s slow response to the climate crisis.

Here’s an extensive list: https://www.fastcompany.com/…/these-are-all-the-companies-p…

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8 ECO-FRIENDLY BRANDS TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD

https://99designs.com/blog/business/eco-friendly-brands/

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25 ECO-FRIENDLY BRANDS YOU CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT

https://www.buzzfeed.com/…/green-eco-friendly-stores-shops-…

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11 COMPANIES THOUGHT BEST FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

https://www.forbes.com/…/11-companies-considered-best-for-…/

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THESE BRANDS WORK TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE

https://www.today.com/…/brands-fighting-climate-change-cost…

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A CHANGED PERSPECTIVE (ARTICLE)

WHAT MADE ME RECONSIDER THE ANTHROPOCENE

Whether our civilization is transient or not, its effects on the living world will last forever.

https://www.theatlantic.com/…/anthropocene-epoch-af…/599863/

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TWITTER ACCOUNT TO FOLLOW

Peter Brannen is an award-winning science journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Wired, Aeon, The Boston Globe, Slate and The Guardian among other publications. His book, The Ends of the World, about the five major mass extinctions in Earth’s history, was published in 2017 by Ecco.

http://peterbrannen.com/about

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