This whole notion of being “green” seems to be sweeping through every product line in the nation. Seeing a “green” product at any store is pretty common but, just a few years ago you had to search for “green” products. The fact that so many organizations are jumping onto the “green” bandwagon is both promising and troubling.
I like to see that companies are trying to improve things like, operating efficiencies of their products, reduce their company’s overall energy consumption, reduce materials used while packaging, among many other things. In addition to all of the positive environmental impacts, this is good and beneficial to everyone because, it costs the end user less to operate and it can cost less for the manufacture to produce/ship. Why suddenly are we seeing so many “green” products, well there are several reasons for this but the main reason is that consumers are demanding them. Energy costs have risen and because of this, consumers want devices that use less energy. For the very same reason companies are trying to reduce their energy consumptions.
The downside to seeing so many “green” products is being able to sort out the beneficial and non-beneficial products. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find products that actually have a positive affect both environmentally and in reducing energy. It seems the term “green” is being so over used that marketing departments are throwing the “green” label on anything they possibly can, in hopes of appealing to consumers. Whether the product is actually all that “green” or not is besides the question. Since “green” is the new favorite phrase of marketers, it is very important to be conscious of these tactics and to do some research for yourself. Don’t buy something just because it says that is “green.” Next time when you see a “green” product ask yourself some of the following questions:
What makes this product green?
How does this product compare to other products?
Does this green labeling have any actual positive affect on the environment or in reducing energy?
The United States Government is also getting on the “green” bandwagon. Some of the things the government is doing are good and some of the things it is doing aren’t so good. For example, the United States Government is planning on improving federal and state building efficiencies. This is a good thing and it will not only save the government (and taxpayers) money but it will also use less energy. Also, in order to reduce energy and environmental impact the government passed a bill that will end up phasing out incandescent light bulbs. This bill requires that light bulbs be 70% more efficient by 2020. As energy costs have gone up, people have been buying energy efficient products like compact fluorescent light bulbs (instead of incandescent light bulbs) without the government dictating anything. We are seeing similar behavior with the Cap and Trade bill. The Cap and Trade bill is going to try and force you to live a “greener” life by raising the costs of energy. The hope is that doing this will reduce energy usage and benefit the environment. Again, we are seeing an actual “green” change occur in all aspects of society already but, these changes are occurring because the market is adapting to higher energy prices.
So, Am I against going “green?” No. Am I against forcing people to go “green?” Yes.
I am fully in favor of trying to minimize the amount of natural resources we use and to use the resources we do use efficiently. Also, I am in favor of using products that are more efficient and in favor of replacing incandescent light bulbs with more efficient bulbs. I am not however, in favor of having someone else dictate to me what I have to do. If someone does not want to stop using incandescent bulbs then they should not be forced to. Instead of having big brother breath down our necks let the people and the market make the decisions. That is how things are supposed to work, after all aren’t we suppose to have freedom and be a capitalist society?
Tell me your thoughts; I would be very interested to discuss some of these topics further.