Inspiring Weekend Thanks to TEDx

25 Nov

I am just reflecting on a wonderful day of talks, which will be posted by TEDx shortly..

A psychologist spoke about the issues facing the adoption of electric vehicles. He gave two examples of green success stories (The cloth bag and solar panels).
He argues that even though an electric car might save you money in a long term cost comparision, humans are short sighted and very social animals. Solar panels tend to catch on at the same time, in the same areas.

Imagine I care about the environment, and my intelligent neighbor Susan puts solar panels on her house. I respect Susan, and believe she would not have done this without lots of thought and calculation, and deciding it was the best choice for her needs. I am publicly known as an environmentally concerned person, but Susan is now better than I at protecting the environment, saving energy, etc. unless I to put solar panels on my home.

We need a way to reward this green behavior, if you want people to do something and make changes in their lives, you want the transition to be as EASY as possible. His talk was much more interesting than I am making it out to be.. and he arrived at some really neat conclusions.

I am pondering why is it that we assign people credit ratings, but not earth ratings. Well it is hard to give people earth ratings, and especially since people with the lowest ratings would be people who
don’t “do” very much.

What if you had a public page where you could prompt people to submit a picture with a caption about something they did, purchased, or created, that improved their lifestyle and had a positive environmental impact. Naturally this would be an interesting page to browse for ideas and see what people are doing around the world. Initially you could have contests with small cash incentives $50,
$100 to be won every month, or week. People like winning, the idea is that you would get this page as much traffic and as many “LIKES” or followers as possible. Once you had a decent fan base
you could approach “Green” companies to sponsor bigger prizes, or they could pay to advertise their products in a community where everyone is a potential buyer, and keen on green ideas.

I have seen small businesses in PEI attract a huge following, simply by
having people share a picture of a product so they can be entered in a
draw for a chance to win something very insignificant like a T-shirt
or apparel.

I was also partly inspired by Alistair Summerlee, U of G president, as he notes that the people who do many BIG, important things, tend to keep it to themselves. All the green technology is out there already, we just need to promote it, and ultimately change the way green ideas are received in culture. It is very much a social barrier preventing this change, (Ok, and a lack of charging infrastructure).

You would have to design this page to transform green living into something that is cool, and for high class creative, intellectual people. Something the green party was unable to do… we all know what connotations they have.

There was another TED talk here today,(yesterday now) from a lady with an emission
free lunch service in the TO downtown area. Did you know that if every
American ate 1 vegan meal per week, it would be the equivalent to removing
7.1 million cars from the road (year for year I am assuming). Yes meat eating is EXTREMELY harmful to the planet, and the practices are quite disgusting, see Food Inc.

Let me know if you think this would work, or if you have ideas as to how to make this better.
As a sports car fanatic I might sound hypocritical, but It is ridiculous that we are still
using combustion engines. Even if you get a bunch of people doing
rather insignificant things, all “GREEN” needs is popularity, and to become the social norm. It is then that we will start to see greater changes like driving around in enclosed
monorail bicycles bubble things..

This is a bit of a rant, but I just want to do something crazy..

The greatest miracle is not in seeing the world as it is, but seeing the
world as it isn’t!


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