Who's got the power?
Tom Watson on
Jan. 12, 2007
I used to hate the word "consumer." When I heard it, I would think, "I'm not a consumer, dammit! I'm not just defined by what I buy! I'm a person!"
But of course, we all buy stuff. And what we buy does help define us, along with having an economic and environmental impact. Although I still think people should be thought of as more than just consumers, I've learned to love the consumer media - Consumer Reports magazine, consumer articles in newspapers, Herb Weisbaum's consumer reports on TV and radio in Seattle, and all the rest.
And now, fueled by the Internet, the environmental consumer information movement has really begun to pick up steam. For example, Consumer Reports has just beefed up its "green" website, GreenerChoices. Here at King County, we're also expanding our EcoConsumer campaign, which we started in 2005. We see this project as a "gateway" to help steer people to the vast resources available. And this new blog is a part of that. We can all learn from each other.
A few years ago, a second-grader in Florida named Savannah Walters learned how much fuel could be conserved if people simply kept their car tires properly infllated. With the help of her parents, she started a website called Pump 'Em Up. This website, which offers solid resources and information, has gotten incredible media exposure. Savannah and her website have been featured on NBC News and in Time magazine. She even went to Washington, DC, and met with Hillary Clinton.
Stories like that give me great hope. Thanks to the Internet, we have more power as consumers than ever before. And we can make that power Green Power. We have access to almost limitless information, and we can also easily communicate to others what we have learned. That's what I'll try to do with this blog. Thanks for reading!