Participating in the class discussion about eco-labeling last week brought on a lot of new perspectives of this sustainable concept. First off, I never realized how many companies there were that were involved with the process of eco-labeling and what each stood for. I believe it is a great initiative to work towards. However, I feel that with today’s consumer culture, it’s almost as if this initiative takes one step forward and two steps back. I reason this because of consumer behavior – some may want to put a conscious effort into seeking out and purchasing products with eco-labeling, and that is a pretty strict line to walk on. After a while, consumers may fall off the bandwagon – backtracking their efforts and, ultimately, the company who created the eco-label. Changing consumer behavior is a very hard gear to turn since we are so “set in our ways,” or we brush it off after a while – just like a diet trend. In class, I proposed that if some sort of signage or promotion material was available to the consumer when shopping a particular product – they may be more likely to take to an eco-friendly initiative and pride themselves for doing so. If it makes the consumer feel special about purchasing it, it will win them over even more so. I feel that we have made headway with eco-labeling as more and more companies are creating their own criteria for their eco-label and incorporating it into their brand culture. I think as long as companies find a significant way to promote their efforts, they will continue to see success in the future.
Today, we watched The 11th Hour documentary, and I thought it was very insightful. Even though I have been aware of the wide-ranging topic on global climate crisis, the theories addressed in the documentary gave me a different perspective. One that stood out to me significantly was that we should not think of ourselves (a population) as separate from nature, but rather that We Are Nature. For centuries, we have worked our way out of nature’s way of life and created our own way to live. We have succumbed to the power of the corporate economy and have turned our heads on the planet. The human destruction that has taken place on our planet feels almost irreversible at this point, but there is still time to make a difference if we listen to nature. To secure a sustainable environmental future we need to look beyond corporate power and industrialization and implement technology, social responsibility, and conservation for the greater good.