If there is no other hyper-crisis coming, the main topic in the 21st century will be the reduction of the global CO2 emissions. One part of the solution is technological, but the other part is a change in our society, more concretely a change in everyones lifestyles which means a change in our consumer behavior. A prophecy: The future versions of ourselves will probably buy refurbished or recycled products instead of completely new products, vegan or vegetarian food instead of meat products, electric-powered instead engine-powered products, CO2 neutral services instead of services that are causing CO2 etc. etc. etc.
But how do we become this super eco-friendly humans? Or in other words, how can be speed up the process to change an entire society from zero to hero?
Let’s dive into the micro-level to find a possible answer for this question. To understand the lifestyle of entire societies (cultures) you have to understand the microlevel of financial spending on a daily basis.
Fact No. 1 is: The economy is getting rougher for low to mid-income households, which is the majority on this planet. Consequently, in each and every decision of our life the price matters. We want to reduce costs wherever it is possible, to save more money for a loan, a car, children, bad times etc. This will not change in the next decades due to increasing energy and living costs, the expansive transformation of the economy itself and the tremendous costs of the first climate change effects on many countries.
Fact No. 2 is: Time itself is getting more and more scarce also thanks to social media and the hyper-attention economy. Still, economic decisions have to account the less time we have to make research to find THE product or service that we want. But what do we want, or should we want related to the need to reduce our ecological impact? I call these new class of items “happy products”, products that are convenient, functional and sustainable at the same time. A lot of small companies and startups work on these happy products, but it is mostly not so easy to find them in the sea that consists of mostly unhappy products.
My hypothesis is that we change on the crossroads of daily consumption and easy access to the happy products world plus a bit of social-driven motivation to accerlate needed change of consumerism.
Now let's build a product based on this hypothesis. Easy, right? No, but this could be a starting point for an exciting product development journey.