On West Yorkshires Pulse FM today (Cheesy local radio DJ voice there.) they had a scheme where Johnsons cleaners take in old kids coats, clean them and pass them on to people who need them. No web link for you, sorry.
On Sky TV today, its green britain week.
My local recycling site is full. To the brim.
Clearly things are a bit different this January. Whilst people aren't consuming less, they're at least thinking about the mess they make post consumption binge.
Now I've always been a semi-green - aware but slack, interested in recycling but a bit lazy. But I've been getting better, making an effort. Fretting about fair trade and organic in a middle class angsty way. Watching Live 8 on the telly and doing sod all (pretty much like the G8). Every now and then you think that everyone is doing the same, then you see rising SUV sales and the balloon is burst (sold mine 3 years ago, decided that 2 of-road trips per year didn't warrant running a refinery).
There's a big trap you see, for people in the marketing industry, we see so much cultural commentary and focus groups, that we believe we are everyman. Actually, most of the time we're creating for ourselves and people like us, which is why we get it wrong.
But with all the recent events, I'm starting to believe.
That's a good thing.
I hope green britain isn't just a bunch of Sky News people talking to themselves and their mates. I hope that under the frothing of commentators, politicians and the media, real cultural currents are changing.
You see, currently its too early to call it. Marks and Sparks might sell organic jeans, but nobody is saying "we'll walk away if you don't do it". This to me is an example of a consumer group acting based upon what they've been told, not what they believe. Over the next few years we'll see if corporate social responsibility moves from cashing in to corporate belief.
I read Yvon Chouinard's book last year which is a great take on all this stuff.