Buying Green as 'Second Nature'

Are consumers catching on to the benefits of buying green quickly enough? Not for the Sustainable Business Roundtable, an advisory board to the British Government. Their new report, I Will If You Will (in PDF), claims that the UK has had plenty of green success stories, and that these victories grew largely from "...a positive lead from businesses and the Government." So... don't wait on consumers to catch on; rather, make buying green "second nature" for consumers through "radical action" by government and business! Among the Roundtable's recommendations for revving up a sustainable economy:

* Unite with business to get the most damaging products out of the shops and replace them with environmental products. For example, television sets that use less power on standby.

* Bring in affordable hybrid cars.

* Encourage alternative fish to cod, which is over-fished.

* Give consumers up-to-date energy information, so they can manage their energy use, by getting smart meters into every home by 2012.

* Make all schools and hospitals carbon neutral by 2015.

* Automatically give travellers the option to carbon offset their flights, to demonstrate the environmental impact of flying.

* Develop a working economic model to track the links between national income, consumption growth and resources by 2008.

One of the organization's co-chairs, Ed Mayo, noted that sustainable consumption has to be the "easier choice" for consumers in order to get Brits buying green on a regular basis. We couldn't agree more, and look forward to seeing how the UK goes about making green purchasing the automatic choice for consumers. :: The Independent

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