Monday, January 14, 2013

The change is already upon us.

Business Insider has a resyndicated post from from the AP explaining how the changing climate is having impact on us in the U.S. It is quite sobering. This coupled with the unreal pollution that is happening in Beijing. (I was in Shanghai and went for my obligatory run during a bad pollution day, needless to say it was a very short run). Environmental issues are becoming very real.

It can be said that in history we have always had these environmental issues, such as Britain during the industrial revolution, but what is unprecedented is the scale of humanity at this point and the number of producers at a this point in time.

We have a really good sense of what is going to happen, it's a question of when not what anymore, or more a question of how frequent. I recently watched the movie "Six Degrees" that was produced in 2007 and talked about a super storm hitting Manhattan that was eerily prescient.

The world is different, are we built for it become the real question. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

Osmotic Marketing for Good

There is a fantastic story at Marketwatch which explores Starbucks efforts to encourage people to use reusable cups and I applaud this. While Starbucks is really savvy in using their own brand of re-usable mugs to spread their messages, it would be great if they do more to encourage people to bring existing reusable cups. The number of cups I get from marketing efforts is unbelievable. I currently use a 17 year old mug (I kid you now) from a Microsoft Training Class, it is so old that some of the products listed on the tumbler aren't even sold anymore.

A side note that gives this post some context is that the Consumer Electronics Show starts next week, and I am not sure many of the products that will be announced next week will have the functional longevity of my promotional mug from so long ago.

Today's technology has an explicit end of life, you can't imagine having batteries that will replace the ones inside since products are hermetically sealed. They are designed to be disposable. They are mandatorily disposable. I can still use the transistor radio of my youth (the stars and stripe AM radio that was so magical when I was young) since it has a classic 9 volt. The EU mandated that mobile phones need to be chargeable by micro USB such that Apple includes adapters in their European phone kits. Planned obsolescence may be good business, but does it make for a good world?

I have been putting mugs in my car and looking for mugs with handles to attach to my travel bag so I don't ever have to use a paper cup. Starbucks will give you a discount. I wish they would reuse the discarded gift cards and reissue them to save some landfill.