I’ve been meaning to write about this campaign for a while, so I’m glad I’ve finally got round to it…A campaign by my favourite cleaning brand (oh dear that sounds sad!) – Method – who I honestly think are brilliant. In fact I love the brand through and through because every part of the production, design, ethos and branding has been thought about from a sustainability and environmental point of view. Their bottles are made from old bottles, and non-toxic cleaning products that biodegrade instead of toxic chemicals that don’t.
One part of what they do comes from the Cradle to Cradle vision. Cradle to Cradle begins with the assumption that the problem is not that we are too many or that we consume too much, but that what we consume is not designed properly.
I really agree with this because a) we can’t keep the population down (without drastic one-child Chinese style birth control policies) and b) we can’t stop people from consuming or wanting to develop themselves, especially developing nations. So what we make and how we make it has to be the thing that changes. Unfortunately I don’t think companies, especially large corporates, will make a change to the way they do things unless there’s an economic reason or government regulation.
One day (hopefully), all plastics will be biodegradable or made from an alternative material because oil will become a genuinely rare commodity but until then, we’ll have to turn to clever people, like the ones at Method, who are already busy in their labs concocting environmentally innovative ways of doing things. Hoorah!
I digress from the campaign, I know, but let me quickly tell you about the other principle they stand by, which is green chemistry. In a nutshell this is a belief in the precautionary principle (avoiding ingredients where there is any shred of doubt over safety) and assessing each ingredient against all the possible effects on people or the environment – e.g. how the ingredient is sourced, how it’s used and its impact on the environment once it’s been disposed. There are also lots of other great strategies – like trying to make all their factories recycle 100% of their water and waste and spread the word about – but I’ll let you read about the rest here.
Back to the campaign! Basically, team Method wants us to share a shower and use less water. They say ‘an average shower uses 63 litres of water so if everyone in the UK shared a shower – just once – we could save 1.5 billion litres of water.’ A few celebrities and brands are on board and if you ‘pledge to share a shower‘ Method will send you a £1 voucher and you’ll be in with the chance of winning a year’s worth of Method cleaning products. Err… I’m in! While obviously the campaign is more conceptual than practical, the valuable idea of saving water is there. Join the Share a Shower Facebook page to try the app and enter the competition.
It’s seems relevant to make the point here, one that many have made before, that the water we waste at home is so small in comparison to the water lost through leaks in the water system. According to Leo Hickman’s post on the Guardian’s environment blog last week, ‘Thames Water lost 669.9 million litres of water a DAY – equal to 32% of the total it delivered – through leaks in 2009/10, according to Ofwat.’ Incredible and hypocritical for water companies to pass the blame (and guilt) to the consumer. I digress again, but despite this statistic we should all still all do our bit and save water!