In my last post, I wrote my thoughts on the information by the World Bank that in 50 years we are going to drown in waste. I ended the blog post by saying that business need to change their models from linear to circular ones. Linear = make-take-dispose, circular=make-take-reuse, remember?
Let’s take the example of supermarkets. why would they turn sustainable?
Well, I believe there are only 3 reasons:
1. Government obliges them
2. The sustainable solution will be more profitable for them
3. Consumers will put pressure on them to change
Now, let’s not wait for the first two options to happen,’cause that might take ages. We, as consumers, have to start act on our own. Only when the consumers will demand more sustainable solutions, the businesses will adopt it. Because customer and his/her wishes are everything to them. You might not realize it, but you, as a consumer, have an extraordinary power. Leave the classic argument “I myself won’t change a thing, so what would I do it?” at home and change your environmentally unfriendly, plastic and wasteful habits. Try to reduce the amount of packaging, buy things in bulk, refill olive oil or hygienic products, stop using plastic bags for fruits and vegetables. You will see how difficult it might be if you want to have a sustainable lifestyle! But that’s actually good, because like that you will realize the lack of sustainable solutions for customers. And you will start demanding them. And once such solutions appear (let’s say that Tesco will start selling their products without packaging), everybody with the sustainable mind will go there instead of Lidl, Albert or Billa. And in reaction to that, Lidl, Albert and Billa will have to adapt. The race will be on!
The same goes on with other things-if you already realized that buying a brand new fancy but unrecyclable coffee cup every morning is a bit wasteful, you have probably started going to that one coffeeshop where they offer coffee into your own cup. Eventually, more and more will people go there. So those coffee shops that still insist on the single-use take-away cups will start losing customers. You don’t need to be an economist for that. So in order to stay in the business, they will start offering the possibility of bringing your own cup, too. And in the end, nearly every coffee shop will do so.
Or am I too foolish?
I don’t think so – look at the news. DM, the biggest drugstore chain in Germany and Central Europe will start refill stations for liquids. Recently I went to the Edeka store in Wiesbaden, Germany and I saw the indoor garden for herbs in the fresh produce section. Awesome! Who wouldn’t want to buy basil or mint freshly picked, possibly into your own bag or sachet, instead of something that has traveled half the world and is wrapped in plastic? Some supermarkets (not in Czech Republic tho – sadly) offer to shop the delicatessen products into your container.
Therefore I am hopeful. Hopeful that we won’t drown in waste.
That’s it for today’s sustainability motivation.