Year for a Planet is a personal challenge to be a better human for the planet for a whole year. This year, 2017, is where I deal with my food choices. *** If there’s one thing that locks us into consumerist culture, it’s a rewards card.
They seem harmless, and even helpful. But twelve drinks, get one free! Or better yet, collect stickers and get next year’s planner! Earn points, get rewards!
Rewards cards: A brilliant way to psychologically nudge us to keep buying crap. But why would you want thirteen drinks when you just wanted one?
Of course, I’m sure there are exceptions. Perhaps your neighborhood grocery store that sells local produce incentivizes you to shop with your own bags for a discount. Maybe a favorite smoothie place gives you a reward for bringing your own mug. A coffee brand may donate a portion of their profits to indigenous communities they support. Maybe you have a favorite credit card that gives you rewards you actually need—after all, we still live in a world of money.
But for rewards cards for large shopping malls, international coffee chains, and places that sell you processed food, I believe it’s best to opt out. What is labeled as an advantage to you might actually be the opposite to the planet—and using these cards actually helps you cause harm to it. Incentives are fine, but watch out for who they benefit and what its real cost is.
When I started this project and thought of the cards I had to throw out, I realized that this things should come with an audit of the true costs of consuming more. Something like: a completed set of stickers means you just threw away two dozen plastic straws into the ocean. Or that you consumed 10,000 extra calories. Or that you just took away 1000 hours of labor from an underpaid child worker. Sometimes our most harmful consumer choices are disguised in enticingly shiny things.
Full post https://futurerx.org/2017/11/19/year-for-the-planet-week-46-destroy-your-rewards-cards/