Posted by: eileenandrory | February 14, 2010

Good Magazine

Recently I’ve re-discovered GOOD magazine. I guess you could say that it is THE New Zealand magazine for sustainable living, and I have to say that it is a most excellent magazine. I like the mix of opinion and product reviews, I often feel that they need more writers though as every 2nd article seems like it was written by Vincent or Sarah Heeringa…

So I like the magazine.

Yesterday however I was sitting on the stairs and the back cover of the latest magazine caught my eye, it was an advertisement for BMW. I thought that can’t be right, how can ANY car manufacturer be sustainable in this day and age?

Then I looked at the back of  issue number 10, and thank goodness it was an advert for a travel company… <now I think about it how sustainable is overseas travel?>

Just to make sure thought we had borrowed issue number 9 from the library and yup it too had a car advert, this time Kia, admittedly it said that the Kia had extremely good fuel economy, but really?

How much energy and resources does it take to build a car? How much does it take to get it to the consumer? And then how much energy does it take to run it including maintenance, WOf, registration and fuel?

Not sustainable at all.

Yet I understand why we feel we need cars, there is a feeling that public transport in Auckland doesn’t work. I  think it does, the problem lies with the fact that most people in Auckland do not want to be inconvenienced, we don’t want to wait for the next bus, or we don’t want to have to carry the stuff we may need when we get to where we are going.

It’s a dilemma.

The car manufacturers business model is just about selling more, gaining more market share, and crushing the opposition. Some of them are doing it by convincing you and me that their vehicles are sustainable.

You know what one solution is?

Instead of building new cars, why don’t car manufacturers spend their time, energy and resources refitting existing cars so that they are more efficient? Instead of producing new designs each year, they could produce new ‘green’ kits every year, kits that would be sent around the world to licensed installers, who would retro fit your 1995 Toyota Camry to turn it into a super efficient hybrid vehicle.

Doesn’t that make more sense? I wonder how many cars are in New Zealand that get driven less than an hour a day? Why do we need new cars imported into the country?

Ha! Why doesn’t the government just say, that’s it no more new cars, they aren’t sustainable and we don’t need them!

No wider highways.

What we need is more buses and trains!

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