Friday, February 6, 2009

Institutional change leads to individual change

I don’t know what changed my mind about paper coffee cups, but I do know that our systems set us up for sustainable failure.

Our culture believes in the power of the individual to create change, and yes one person can make a difference, but our system banks on people caring enough to want to make change.

For big change to come, institutions must conform to user habits, instead of users conforming to institutional habits.

We all know we could carry our own coffee cups, but it’s a nuisance. Instead of making users remember to bring their own cups, coffee shops should offer sustainable solutions in themselves.

One brilliant idea from a fellow aha-er, Darice, is the edible coffee cup. Think of the sustainability behind ice cream cones; what if there was a coffee cup equivalent? Darice recommends the chocolate coated biscotti cup. Or what about a collapsible coffee cup that fits in your pocket?

1 comment:

JMK said...

According to some dead philosopher, All culture is the result of DNA interacting with RNA to create a more sustainable future for DNA and RNA.
I believe we're creating a mirror image of ourselves all the time. The human body is not sustainable with the grossly inefficient energy use of the brain and we recreate it into our worlds.
I would love to drink coffee out of biscotti. But until the DNA evolution takes another step, we're just throwing individual star fish into the ocean that will die or be washed back in again.
Recycling's a great example of this ridiculously altruistic inefficiency. Carting trash on carbon emitting vehicles to recycle materials into substances that can't be recycled again, thus delaying the inevitable, and then carting them around some more, burning more "fossil"-fuels.
Thankfully this whole thing's a great big joke. I can hardly wait for the punchline!