Marylhurst University

Skip to content »

Guest Column: We are the 5 percent

Excerpt from a guest column by Paul Ventura, chair of the sustainable business department, in the Sustainable Energy Guide, January 2012. Marylhurst University is a sponsor.

I try to avoid Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It's not that I don't like to buy things. I just don't like to be driven to buy because something is a good deal.

With billions of people unable to meet their basic needs there's something distressing to me about the idea of consuming for the sake of consuming, like a dog chasing its own tail.

Patagonia, whose founder Yvon Chouinard has long advocated for limited business growth, placed a full-page ad in Thursday's New York Times, with the heading, "Don't Buy this Jacket." The company explained: "We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else."

As the good business folks at Patagonia realize, we are the 5%. That is, as Americans we comprise less than 5% of the world's population but consume 20 to 30% of its resources.

Is there an exit ramp from this spending highway?

The answer might be found in the movement toward collaborative consumption, a fancy name for sharing. A recognized example of a business model using shared access is Zipcar, whose subscribers have access to a variety of cars from a Toyota Prius to a Mini Cooper when they need them.

Why is responsible consumption important to me, especially in my role as the administrator of an MBA in sustainable business? Isn't it a goal of business to increase purchasing? Isn't continuing consumption the engine of economic growth?

Both business people and the public are answering "not necessarily" to these questions.

Read the Full Article.

Related News

See All News

Luis De Vore Introduces Responsibly-Sourced Produce

Luis De Vore, MBA in Sustainable Business alum, announced the launch of Feliz, a new product line of "responsibly-sourced" produce from Procacci Bros., in October 2014.

Marylhurst Faculty Teach Free College Course

Drs. John Urang and Chuck Caruso are teaching in the 2014-15 Humanity in Perspective program, a free six-month college course offered through Oregon Humanities.

Calendar

See All Events

October 21, 2014

LinkedIn Part 1: Getting Started

This beginner’s session will discuss the importance of having a professional presence on LinkedIn and focus specifically on tips for building a p...

READ MORE

October 21, 2014

Marylhurst Reading Series: Carl Adamshick & Emily Kendal Frey

Poets Carl Adamshick and Emily Kendal Frey will read from their collections Saint Friend (2014) and The Sorrow Arrow (2014). Carl Adamshick’s C...

READ MORE

October 22, 2014

Lean Boot Camp

This intensive 3-day course (10/22, 10/23, 10/24) guides you through a structured learning and personal development process for driving lean princi...

READ MORE

GIVE

Support Marylhurst University. Gifts of all sizes make a difference!

DONATE NOW

©2013 Marylhurst University