All Work And No Play Makes For Environmental Disaster

David Roberts writing for Fast Company questions American’s zeal for overworking and measures the impact of this hyperactivity on the environment.

The United States leads the world in two categories: work and waste. American employees put in more hours and take fewer vacations than just about anyone else in the industrialized world, and our individual ecological “footprints” are much larger.
Coincidence? I think not. The way we work drives our habits of consumption and waste. The more we work, the more we drive, the more energy we burn, the more styrofoam to-go containers we use. At the end of the day, we’re so tired, we devour more takeout and TV, often falling asleep in front of the latter. If we want to accelerate the recent trend of reducing waste, it may be time to consider the radical step of, well, relaxing more, consuming less, and living fuller lives. May the Wall Street Journal editorial board strike me down.

I’d love to hear your responses to this. The agency business isn’t exactly known for lightweight workloads. In fact, I’d venture that some shops are proud of their sweatshop reputations (sick though it is, such reputations prevent laggards from even applying).

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Brand builder at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Believer in Gossage, Bernbach and Clow. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • Schrodinger’s Copywriter

    I agree with him. Unfortunately, what’s needed is a total cultural mindshift. A few workers cutting a few hours off the workweek are just going to get fired.
    Personally, I am just happy that i have a job where 80% of my 55+ hour workweeks are enjoyable.