Yuppies versus Scuppies – which one are you?
(socially conscious urban professional)
Tom?s not the most popular person in his office since he insisted his team swap to energy efficient bulbs. But as the chairman of CarboGone, the newest carbon offsetting trust with its headquarters in Jersey, he feels he should set a good example. The rest of the team ? Margaret the lady who does the accounts and Joe the Project Trident student ? mutter between themselves that he should probably lose the halogen Anglepoise lamp on his desk as well, but Tom just turns up his Project Red iPod and pretends not to hear them. Tom?s not really an environmentalist, but he thinks we should be doing our bit. So he?s accumulating a pile of crumpled ?bags for life? under his desk, ready to take his old copies of the Financial Times for recycling. And he?s swapped his Porsche SUV for a Prius ? but still regrets not trying to convert the Cayenne to hydrogen.
His friends all feel the same way ? it?s so fashionable these days to be environmentally aware ? so dinner party conversation revolves around Tom?s solar panel ideas and wind turbines. And if anyone notices his brand new endangered Brazilian mahogany coffee table, he can always lie and tell them it was recycled ? salvaged wall panels from the old Ministry of Education in São Paulo don?t you know. Still, Tom tells himself, being an ethical consumer is about trying to do things right most of the time. So it?s ok to buy mangoes flown in from Peru as long as you carry them home in an organic cotton shopping bag. And Starbucks isn?t so bad now they?ve started using Fairtrade coffee. But he doesn?t think he?ll own up to his latest guilty indulgence ? two weeks in Bermuda while everyone thought he?d gone to a Cornish B&B. Oh well, he?s just going to have to keep claiming his exotic tan came from an unexpected heatwave in Padstow.
(young upwardly-mobile professional)
Nick?s big in finance. But nobody seems to know exactly what he does. He mutters something about trading positions then says ?but you don?t want to hear about that? and pretends to take a call on one of his two BlackBerries ? one for work, one for checking his FaceBook account. Nick got his start when he inherited the family farm in Trinity and promptly turned 40 vergées of prime arable land into luxury apartments. Now he?s working his way up to his own hedge fund. He wants to get there before he?s 30 and is already planning his birthday party complete with over-the-top firework display. He can?t believe that retirement home down the road is making such a fuss about the potential noise pollution. They?re only old people after all ? and aren?t most of them deaf? He?ll show them. He?s planning to import a couple of illegal military ?fireworks? from Georgia to set off at the end. It?ll send the old duffers straight back to the Normandy landings.
Business is good at the moment, he?s not worried about the credit crunch and in fact he?s done pretty well out of it. The more people buying cheap clothes the better ? he owns a percentage of a few of those ?textile manufacturers? in Malaysia. He?s never seen any problem with it ? the smaller the fingers the better when it comes to sticking on those sequins. And the trend for stay-cations? Wonderful ? it means it?s far easier to get last minute flights for that week of anaconda hunting and piranha fishing in central Brazil. Work hard, play hard is Nick?s motto ? after all he can?t afford to let the adrenalin levels drop ? multi-million pound deals depend on it. Let the next generation worry about the environment, he thinks. His only concern about global warming – does that really mean he?ll have to swap his bespoke suit for something in crumpled linen?