It’s not easy being green

As we get the last blast of idiotic summer heat through the middle of the country, I can’t help but think about what it means to be green in the context of utilities.  Several months back I did a project on climate (one of many over the years) in the home – at the time it was the dead of winter, but what we saw then holds true in the heat.  People have a difficult time articulating why it is important to save energy from a moral and ethical position, but they all reference it. There is a cultural understanding that preventing waste is simply something people “should do.”

Being green is often a secondary issue and can be extremely vague for most people.  Yes, there are the true believers, but the perfect recycler is often the same person driving the Yukon.  It’s about justification and rationalization.  The family is wiling to make changes to their life style, but not if it reduces a sense of physical comfort in the home.  They recycle diligently and take measure to reduce electricity use, which they learn about from the local utility website, Dr. Phil and the recommendations their children bring home from school.  However, the idea of raising the temperature in the home more than a degree or two is out of the question.  Sacrifice or actionable awareness is relevant only to a point. And there is probably a connection between immediacy and short-term gain (instant gratification) vs. long-term benefits/suffering. Turning off a light is painless and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Dialing up the heat all summer is just asking too much for too long.

Published by gavinjohnston67

Take an ex-chef who’s now a full-fledge anthropologist and set him free to conduct qualitative research, ethnography, brand positioning, strategy and sociolinguistics studies and you have Gavin. He is committed to understand design and business problems by looking at them through an anthropological lens. He believes deeply in turning research findings into actionable results that provide solid business strategies and design ideas. It's not an insight until you do something with it. With over 18 years of experience in strategy, research, and communications, he has done research worldwide for a diverse set of clients within retail, legal, banking, automotive, telecommunications, health care and consumer products industries.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: