Can More Consumption of Greener Goods Get Us There?

It’s the paradox that’s stumped the green movement since its inception. How can we move toward sustainable economic growth, when “economic growth” typically means more consumption, and more consumption typically means unsustainable? Indeed, how can we compete with the likes of Hummer’s H2 and other conspicuous consumption (and high margin) items, which can have a dramatic effect on companies’ bottom lines (and therefore become the items those companies want to push)?

Can we make consumption, even of good things, well…a good thing? Cradle to Cradle co-author Dr. Michael Braungart and eco-luminary Bill McDonough will speak to exactly this paradox, taking the stage side by side for the first time in six years on Thursday June 9th in sunny and beautiful San Francisco, CA.

The duo are raising funds for their Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, a certification system for products that’s been described as akin to LEED for production. Braungart and McDonough will argue that unlocking the next Industrial Revolution may well rely on making consumption a good thing, and sharing insights on how this can and will look.

The event is limited to 150 people. Ticket and sponsor information can be found at



Scott Cooney, Principal of and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill, November 2008), is also a serial ecopreneur who has started and grown several green businesses and consulted several other green startups. He co-founded the ReDirect Guide, a green business directory, in Salt Lake City, UT. He greened his home in Salt Lake City, including xeriscaping, an organic orchard, extra natural fiber insulation, a 1.8kW solar PV array, on-demand hot water, energy star appliances, and natural paints. He is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, ultimate frisbee player, and surfer, and currently lives in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Scott is working on his second book, a look at microeconomics in the green sector.In June 2010, Scott launched, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions to common business problems by leveraging the power of the triple bottom line. Focused exclusively on small business, GBO's mission is to facilitate the creation and success of small, green businesses.

One response

  1. Making consumption a good thing is a tall order since the word is tied up with consumerism which is inherently not a good thing. However if we’re talking about ‘changing the game’ so that people seek out products compatible with a good future then consumption of the resource quality of products is a good thing when done the C2C way, as part of a rebuilding of quality in resources.

    C2C product innovation is definitely needed and also worthwhile is working out how to implement C@C at whole-economy scale. My think tank BlindSpot designed a simple market-based tool to do this, please see ‘switch 3’ of our ‘7 switches’ research.

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