Monthly Archives: September 2013

(RE)Thinking

When companies talk about Recycling and how the environment profits from it, they’re only telling you half, or rather a quarter, of the truth – the least helpful quarter. Recycling comes only last in what I like to refer to as the 4 R’s of Sustainable thinking:

  • REFUSE: Think carefully before you make a purchase decision. Think not only about from where and what you’re buying, but also about whether you need to buy it at all. Preventing emissions is better than having to clean them up later
  • REDUCE: Okay, a lot of times we can’t really avoid buying something that’s harmful for the environment. But more often than not you could buy a lesser amount of stuff, thereby directly reducing your harmful footprint on our Environment.
  • REUSE: Does everything you own have to be brand new? Hell no! Given today’s economy, you can save yourself a ton of cash by buying/selling stuff that you don’t really use. If not, at least look around for someone who can really use stuff you don’t use anymore. Cellphones, Laptops and the like fit nicely into this scheme of things.
  • RECYCLE: Only when all the above fails, should you end up dumping stuff into the Recycle bin. Remember recycling also requires energy and resources. Recycling missions by companies are very often a marketing trick to make you feel less guilty about buying a newer product to replace an older one without any real need.

Words of Wisdom

“Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple, or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.”

Leonardo da VinciĀ 

Stories worth telling

Every company in the world today faces competition; even NASA has to today contend with the likes of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. Different companies choose different ways to differentiate themselves from their competition.

Going lower on the cost is one way, but it only works until your competitor finds a way to undercut you. You could try and eke out an advantage in performance; but even that won’t last forever. What would, however, work is telling a good story; a story worth telling.

Porsche released an ad in 2010 claiming that the new Porsche 911 was the most efficient car with the least CO2 emissions in Germany. This sentence was of course accompanied with an asterisk and a disclaimer. Straining your eyes to find the explanation of the asterisk (blended like a chameleon within the background), came the explanation – “least CO2 emissions of all new vehicles in Germany, compared per bhp.” Now that Advert might have caught eyeballs but how many people really took serious notice or made a mental note of that fact? It was a case of Greenwashing.

Porsche could have instead chosen to advertise the fact that over 60% of all Porsche cars ever manufactured are still on roads today. What kind of an impact would that have had? How many companies in the world, let alone in the automobile company can claim that over 60% of the products they have ever sold is still in use today? Isn’t that something to be genuinely proud of?

Which of these two facts left a deeper impression in your mind? Which is more likely to turn you into a Porsche owner or at least leave you desiring one? Which story, then, deserves to be told?

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