Surprising Advice from Pop!Tech Speakers

There were a number of suggestions the speakers at the 2008 Pop!Tech Conference gave the audience about leading a more socially- and environmentally-conscious life. Here are six particularly surprising ones:

Buy a Rolex: Saul Griffith encouraged us to use a tenth as much stuff that lasts 10 times as long. He advised getting a Rolex at birth, wearing it our whole lives and passing it on to the next generation.

Get more sleep: Peter Whybrow told us if we sleep less, we’ll weigh more because of decreased levels of leptin, which reduces appetite, and higher levels of ghrelin, which increases appetite.

Steal from hotels: Soap, that is. Joe Navarro explained that homeless people don’t only need food and shelter, but also toiletries. He made everyone in the room promise to steal a bar of soap from a hotel and put it somewhere where a homeless person would find it.

Text 30644: Carl Safina talked about the ways in which humans are destroying sea life and suggested a way to become a better-informed consumer. The next time you’re about to order or buy fish, text 30644 with the word "Fish" and the type of seafood you’re interested in ("Fish Tuna," "Fish Squid"). You’ll get back a text about pollution exposure, fishing practices, population levels and how long it takes that species to reproduce.

High School grads, don’t go to college (yet): Global Citizen Year encourages students to take a year off first to do public service in Asia, Africa or Latin America. It makes sense when you realize that less than 1% of Americans will ever meet any of the 3 billion people that live on less than $2/day.

Start that Blog: Clay Shirky asks, "What do the amateurs have access to that the professionals don’t? Reality." Bloggers can offer consumers something companies can’t, no matter how much money these companies have.