Buying Green: More Important Than Ever

by on March 7th, 2015
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Take a small fraction of America. Say 10%.

Now, imagine that fraction of America striving to:

• Minimize use of resources and conserve energy

• Reduce and potentially replace, as much as possible, our current carbon footprint with a waste footprint of zero

• Choose to support green businesses and practices

• Alter its spending habits to purchasing green products and services

• Reuse and recycle

Gearing this world to being environmentally and socially sound, imagine these actions putting more than $170 billion back into growing a green economy.

It is the individual’s power to make change that will create an eco-friendly environment and better this planet. Making personal decisions to improve our surroundings on a daily basis has been the key to the ideal that doing the right thing now will guarantee that future generations have a proper tomorrow.

This is why it so troubling to learn a prominent research company is reporting that, instead of moving forward, it would appear the green effort may be going in the opposite direction.

Grail Research, an Integreon company, studies and develops materials with intent to offer insight and answers to a variety of business questions. In a report entitled The Green Revolution, Grail Research has brought forth the idea that while the eco-friendly movement may have had a solid following at one time, the recession was reversing this. According to their findings, fewer consumers are looking for green alternatives, implying that, to cut costs, people were going back to conventional means in their day to day activities.

Among the many disconcerting findings, the report says:

• Non-green consumers rose to 22%

• Non-green consumers are likely to never switch

• Most consumers do not even investigate green products

• Over 40% of consumers are cutting back

Why Green Now

It’s more important than ever to remember why we buy green. The attempt to have a positive impact on our health and the health of our children and their children should always be paramount. Trying to ensure there will be parks and trees; that our air and water supplies become and stay clean; donating and recycling to relieve the pressure on already overwhelmed landfills. All of these objectives must remain a priority in our lives, especially in tough times.

Going green can still save money. Reusing school items such as binders, crayons, pencils or other supplies used the previous year by your child is a simple step. Thrift stores, garage sales and swapping anything from clothes to furniture are definitely a form of going green, as the recycling prevents waste. Bike riding and walking, the bus or car pooling, saves on gas and contributes to safeguarding the environment. Each small step helps protect the environment and save money that can be refocused on buying green. Not to mention that the bike riding and walking would have a positive effect on your fitness.

Among the items listed on the Environmental Working Group’s Guide for Going Green are behaviors that, without much effort on the consumer’s part, can contribute to being eco-responsible, included:

• Using cast iron pans

• Avoiding processed, canned and fast foods

• Buying organic

• Buying products with natural fibers

Altering buying habits as simple as these demonstrates how, even in tough economic times, a consumer can maintain a positive attitude about being green and cut costs. For a moment, envisage how much would be saved if fast food was eliminated from – or at least, minimized in – your life, let alone all the waste saved by not having to dispose of all the cartons and paper that come with it. These extra funds could then be channeled into organic products, or fruits and vegetables.

Impress, or continue to impress, on your friends, colleagues and employer the benefits of buying green. With a buy green policy, refurbished computers and scanners are the way to go. With an authorized retailer, expect solid savings on these products. Encourage the use of recycled content paper. True, in the past, this type of paper was of poorer quality but advancements in the process make new and recycled paper indistinguishable.

Be sure that ink and toner cartridges are not only recycled, but that remanufactured ink and toner cartridges are utilized. They cost less than new and, on average, conserve a half gallon of oil. Continue to use compact fluorescent bulbs. They last ten times longer, and long term savings should never be discounted.

Let’s never forget, saving the planet is not a trend. Whatever can be done to preserve it should be a permanent part of our daily lives. To clean air and water, prevent the deterioration of animal habitats and trees, the very survival of the human race, these cannot be seen as items that can be put aside until better times. That better time has to be now.

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