They make me feel guilty for exactly 0.001 secs: So the question is, who is ready to sell their Ferrari?

Imagine a mega planet that has enemies and friends within. It is trying to find its voice. Choked in garbage, depleting lung power and dwindling life forms, it is begging its residents to at least now give it some hope(penhagen). Alas! The efforts with all good intentions, are often couched in wow print advertisements and posters. It does wake you up for just that nanosecond, before the next guzzler of a sedan (the guzzler bit is couched of course) seduces your conscience with its masculinity & power.

Of the lot, the ones that do little to change the attitude of women are the fur & vegetarian print advertisements by PETA. ‘Social flaunt symbols’ far outweigh ‘personal belief symbols’. To stoke the latter, a receptive mind-state that is moving out of  ’status anxiety-external gratification’ to ’status anxiety-internal gratification’ needs to be present. I would say their videos on cruelty to animals etc work much harder. We sometimes understand pain when we see other helpless creatures in pain. It’s possible that a massive change in behavior needs an internal catharsis. And maybe, sexy/part nude (however cool that is), evokes little catharsis, unless one is a body beautiful.

Having said that, I do see a change here in urban metro India and it’s happening in small ways. The converts are not all joining large movements. They are instead forming and becoming a part of little groups and individually & in their own time, creating good energy. Examples:

a. The triumphant return of the cloth bag (urban uppers)

b. Car free day/s in Mumbai

c. Car pooling/Cycling

d. Carrying used wafer packets/chocolate wrappers in hand/hand bags (more girls are doing that)

e. Bucket bath instead of showers

Of course there is that entire mass of India where consumerism is just only finding a foothold. And much of their lifestyle and daily life is more often devoid of resource depletion.

But for the rest of us & the ones who are aware, it needs to move from a nudge to a shove, for visible action.

So to create an impact, brands aligned to a movement or then organizations working on saving the planet should look at activities that gather REAL believers/evangelists. What could make it a larger movement may need efforts beyond the print/poster work, to provide actionable plans, like:

a. A crash course in civic sense / community living in college/at work/before a movie

b. Trash Bins at every set of lights

c. I read somewhere that front load washing machines use less water and save 60% energy than top load ones

d. Get back to glass packaging. It’s stylish, can keep food fresher/healthier and is very eco-friendly

e. Have a green week every month in school throughout the 10 years of a child’s education – it gets in-built into a his/her system

A tall order? Yes. It surely requires collaborative efforts. And a glimpse of the monk who sold his ferrari (Title Credit: Robin Sharma). Till then enjoy some eye catching advertising that got me somewhat thinking.

Line: What changes our planet is consciousness. What creates consciousness is education. Photo Credit: Guardian

Line: By 2050, indiscriminate fishing will have taken away 90% of marine species. Photo Credit: Guardian

Photo Credit: Guardian

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