Providing tools and support to families, citizens, and activists to counter our consumerist culture and to create new social norms about how to have a high quality of life and a reduced ecological footprint.

Reforming Advertising Rules

Advertising pervades every aspect of our lives and stimulates demand for junk we don’t need. We need to reform laws on advertising to better constrain it, to limit children’s exposure to it, and to stop mental pollution. The good news is there are ways we can do this, and some bold political leaders are working to do this. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, city officials banned billboards. Take a look at what a difference the end of billboards has made:

In the U.K., the excellent report The Advertising Effect: How do we get the balance of advertising right maps out how we can rein in the deleterious effects of advertising and argues that it should ultimately be up to society to decide what is advertised, when, where, and how.

And here in the United States, there are many efforts to rein in marketing to children by groups like Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Commercial Alert, and Corporate Accountability International. For an excellent list of reforms, check out Commercial Alert’s Parents' Bill of Rights.

During the recent recession, there has been discussion about ending tax breaks to businesses for advertising. After all, why does the U.S. government need to subsidize big business to the tune of billions of dollars to help them sell us more stuff we don’t need? While just a fledgling effort, stay tuned for news about this exciting new campaign.