Customer convenience and sustainability?

As I was not in class on Wednesday I google the term of customer convenience. The free dictionary definition for convenience told me that it is mainly about something – either quality, place or time – being suitable, useful and comfortable for an individual. Thus then I would define customer convenience as offering products or services that are convenient for the customer.

At the moment it feels as if everyone is talking about sustainability because it is trendy, but only a very small minority is acting really sustainably. It is the opposite as with Big Brother – people say they do not watch it but still secretly do so. The general public, but companies as well try, to give the image of doing the right thing to the people and the planet, but in reality the choices made are often based more on convenience and price considerations and less on environmental or social reasons – even though the choice might have been good from a sustainability point of view. For instance, making donations is very convenient and often also a socially responsible thing to do, when sometimes ignoring the question where the money really goes to.

 The more I learn to understand about sustainability and the bigger picture around it, the more difficult it becomes to really act sustainably and having a sustainable life is extremely inconvenient. It asks for more time as extra research has to be done to find the best answer to a particular question. Then still remains the psychological pressure – was the answer found really the best solution for the given context? In addition to that, the social pressure from friends and family tend to make sustainable options not very tempting.

 When it comes to sustainable choices, people tend to be lazy in finding out what to do different and then acting upon the new information. New ways of doing things require a change in habits, which is never easy. Besides that, the issue of sustainability is very complex and an average consumer might not see nor understand the bigger picture behind a purchase making it unethical and unsustainable. To make sustainable options more convenient, the system needs to change and make unsustainable option less convenient than the right choice. In the ideal world, companies and regulator would understand their responsibility and encourage change through their own actions.

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