Communities are very important to us. People often ask us what does sustainable mean? I work for a sustainable web store that stocks many products… disclaimer… sadly not all may be so ethically produced.
Sustainability in consumer packaged goods is a pretty small market segment but it’s a rapidly growing trend. And while the “sustainably marked” industry is very small and not perfect, the positive news is that it’s growing faster than any other consumer goods segment.
But can we really call all these products sustainable? The answer is yes… and no. It really depends what type of person you are.
Sadly not everybody has the same understanding of what it’s going to take to change our world. So I thought I would write a blog to help people understand what type of person we think Susteo can help. You will see that some are beyond our help.
Let’s call the first type and my least favorite type “The Donald”
This creature is the easiest to spot, each of us has a few Donalds in our lives. The Donald takes many forms, but in a nutshell, the Donald is a super aggressive supporter of business as usual.
It’s really easy to spot… and hear a Donald. They have extra strong opinions on everything and you can be damn sure you will learn what those opinions are. Especially if you try to share some sustainable facts or science with a Donald.
Typically you can recognise a Donald from some of the following statements when discussing sustainable issues. Statements like “I don’t believe it” “It’s not true” “you can’t trust science” and so on… Many honest Donalds will usually boil it all back to “I just don’t care” . Well lets face it – is where all Donalds really live.
A Donald does not care about your kids, his kids or his grandkids’ future – “they can fend for themselves”. Many Donalds teach their kids that its ok to kill and torture animals. Unfortunately not just for food but also for fun. Donalds are hardly ever shocked by man made ecological disasters unless it has an impact on his or her cash flow.
We don’t like Donalds at Susteo and you should not like them either.
Lets move to the other scale and talk about Ted – the eco extremists and terrorists types.
While Ted and I have similar beliefs, a Ted will feel that the only way to fix our problems is with anger. This anger is specifically directed towards Donalds. It happens that they will go through anybody else who gets in the way of their beliefs.
Teds are also the super aggressive fundamentalist eko warriors. These are the guys who will enter a “sustainable” conversation in a super aggressive way. Teds are exceptionally well informed. Unfortunately they tend to engage in overly aggressive tactics. They want to show the rest of the world why they are correct and you are not doing enough to meet their beliefs. The truth is you are not doing enough. It’s all but impossible to expect the majority of humans to hang up their leather jackets and go live in the woods with the rest of the Teds. Well, until you do you will never please a Ted.
TED’s – good intentions?
Again, I need to stress it is very rare a Ted will be wrong. However he/she usually has one core passion and will hammer that home until everybody else runs away. Teds are like a religious extremist – while you can respect their passion you just know that the only people they will ever get through to are the other extremists. Ted’s will never understand that if they really want change they are going to need the Sallys. Maybe even a few Donalds to help them.
I am not a huge fan of all Ted’s either. Many of them tend to Give Donald’s a reason to hate the idea of change. In the process they alienate many other people who share similar beliefs.
The Sustainable Sallys
Hi! I am a Sally! I think perhaps I was once a Donald, but now I’m a happy Sally.
A Sally tends to be pretty quiet about his or her beliefs. Sally’s don’t always get it right – some Sallys have been known to mix plastics with cardboard waste. Many Sallys even eat meat. As a Sally, I have chopped down some trees to make way for a house ( …to my “meat-eating” office Sallys I’m sorry for not being perfect… either).
Thats just it, we Sally’s are not perfect but we are open to change, Sally’s care about the world and the future that we are leaving behind for our kids and grandchildren. . Most Sally’s feel hopeless, but more and more Sally’s are making small sustainable changes in their everyday lives.
A Donalds needs many Sally to survive and even flourish. As a majority species of human, we Sallys have the power to pressure a Donald. We can even satisfy a Ted – but we don’t. And worse still neither Donald nor Ted fear or respect our combined strength.
So if somehow you are reading this, you are likely a Sally too. We are the most powerful of all human species and yet we are the most passive and dangerous.
We the Sallys are doing far more damage than the Donalds or the Teds. When Sally chops down a tree (guilty), buys too much plastic, eats far too much meat. Also, when we collect useless things that we don’t need – we are feeding the Donalds and Teds and collectively devastating our world.
Sustainable future is coming!
But there is good news! The majority of humans (AKA Sallys) want a better world. We hope for better environments and communities. And care about others and animals, but most importantly of all, we want to change. We are fearful of what will happen if humans don’t change.
If the Donald’s won’t help us and the Teds can’t save us then we need to come together and every day take baby steps towards a sustainable future. Together we really are stronger, but it takes every individual Sally to start the process.
Yes! We know it’s urgent… Ted!. We know that we still desire your plastic trinkets… Donald!
But let’s not feel hopeless! The Sally ship is huge and we are going to need some time to change direction. I believe the planet will forgive us when we finally set our new course. With the help of the communities who care.
I am part of a team of three small Sally’s. We are trying to build sustainable shopping, sharing and informed communities. We are doing our very best to help other Sally’s. To find things they can buy and or do to play their part in turning our Sally ship away from Donald’s noose. Yes, we sell some plastic products. But until we Sallys come together to pressure Donald to find alternatives we have to accept almost perfect and keep taking baby steps forward.