In honour of Earth Hour last Saturday, I thought about what it take to make saving the environment more mainstream and sustainable.

1. Make saving the environment more convenient

Being able to find environmentally-friendly products in stores in the normal sections one can find the non-environmentally friendly. If it is easy to find environmentally-friendly products, then I think more people would be willing to consider buying these.

2. Make saving the environment more cost-effective

Many people will not pay more for a product unless they are sold on the concept or the brand. I will go out my way to find a Fair Trade cup of coffee because I believe in the concept 100%. How many people line up to buy Apple products the day they are released? Lots and it has nothing to do with saving the environment (I haven’t done enough research on Apple to make a value judgment on their environmental impact).
But until people believe in saving the environment with the same fervour they have about their religious doctrine, I think a lower price will allow a larger segment of the population to care about the environment. People care, but people care more when their bottom line budget is affected. I have a friend who is very conservative in his political views, but with home ownership and the cost of heating/electricity, he has come around to utilizing the funky environmentally-friendly light bulbs. He shuts off the lights when not in use. He has become more of an environmentally conscious consumer, because he saw how doing so could affect his ability to save money.

3. More choice to save the environment

Having more environmentally-friendly brand options to choose from makes people realize that saving the environment is not simply the pet project of some CEO

4. Make saving the environment more cool

I wish more people would learn to do things because it is the right thing to do. But in the meantime, if I can convince celebrity to do the right thing, then the popular masses will follow suit. Right?

What are some ways you save the environment? Is cool, cost-effective or convenient?