the grass is greener on the internet

To B or not…
August 8, 2008, 6:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m not the most productive in the mornings, especially in winter, and so I was glad to find out about the B-Society, who are trying to get acknowledgement for those of us who just operate better later in the day. The science isn’t the most solid I’ve ever heard, but they claim that some people are genetically wired to take on the morning and some are more geared to the night (it’s not laziness!). Scientifically backed or not, there’s a growing number of people joining the movement and now employers have the opportunity to be certified as B-people friendly.

With CSR as the new luxury trend, it’s not surprising to see a whole host of watches declaring themselves to be ‘carbon neutral’. Perhaps the top-down trend will show results, with leadership starting to come from a variety of luxury brands (like LVMH’s Veuve Clicquot, previously mentioned). Certainly IWC’s ‘Climate Action’ edition of their Ingenieur line will be an aspirational token for the few, with slick design and only 1000 pieces to be sold. Part profits will go to NGO The Climate Group, and just in case you forget which cause you’re supporting they’ve engraved it on the back for you.

However, it might just be outdone by Wyler Geneve’s GMT, which not only claims to have a well-designed and cutting edge watch but that its entire production is carbon neutral. Certified by the CarbonNeutral Company, it is the first watch to be able to claim this. But with the company essentially just calculating the emissions then paying offsets, not much has changed in actually design and manufacturing – wouldn’t it be nice if their whole product line followed?

That’s what Citizen, slightly lower in the luxury stakes, has been aiming for with its Eco-Drive brand. Watches in this line use solar energy to keep their batteries charged, meaning that ‘you’ll never have to change your watch battery again’. It’s not going to win any design awards and could be pushing the ‘a little bit goes a long way’ philosophy, but it’s novel, and likely to get them a little more custom.

The main impression that I get is that, in timepieces at least, it’s a lot of green-washing for sales and not much overall consideration of environmental impact.

We seem to have been obsessed with anti-aging and how to live healthier, longer. In fact, throughout history we’ve been caught up with almost everything which is hailed as the next Elixir of Immortality. When you can’t choose your time to go, it seems like a nice idea to be able to live forever. In modern times it’s a multi-million dollar industry which keeps growing as the percentage of elderly in our populations increases.

However – and this could just be my impression – as we get even closer to that concept of immortality there’s more people expressing the desire to cut their existence off when they hit a certain stage. With rising life insurance, disassociated family units, increased health bills and on top of that never knowing whether you’ll have enough for your retirement, it’s just not easy being old. So when you feel you’d be happy to die tomorrow, but you’re not going to die tomorrow, what then?

Are we going to move into times when immortality isn’t going to be the ever-vaunted state?


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