Why Go Green – More to the Point, Why Not?


The new Obama administration has indicated a strong focus on developing America’s renewable energy resources. So whether you believe global warming is man-made, or purely a result of the earth’s natural cycles of warming and cooling, now is a perfect time to adopt an individual green lifestyle that will conserve energy, save water and result in a cleaner, sustainable environment. The availability of eco-friendly products and services is becoming a great green wave that will make it easier for everybody to become more environmentally friendly. And it doesn’t take a major change in lifestyle to contribute to a cleaner and greener world.

Historically there has been a high cost barrier to moving to green products, but that is becoming much less of a hurdle as more companies compete to offer better, greener products. While certain high-end goods remain out of reach of all but the most well off, the energy saving benefits of many green products quickly offset any higher up-front cost. Green cleaning products are often more concentrated than the regular chemical products and therefore offer good cost comparison for their total use.

In most areas of the country recycling programs are the first introduction to helping protect the environment we live in. Unfortunately, the incredible variety of different collection programs leaves much to be desired and there is much to be done in the future to improve the effectiveness of this process. Maybe this is one area where sensible State or Federal regulation could create common recycling procedures and improve the efficiency of collection and re-use. Back yard composting can reduce the disposal of yard and food waste which is estimated to make up around 30% of the waste stream going to landfills.
With the increasing pressure on energy costs around the world and the improving technology developments in solar and wind power, we can expect to see greater utilization of these natural resources in the future. Solar technology is developing very quickly and becoming more usable and cost effective. Solar lighting and water features are now very efficient and an attractive, clean addition to any garden landscaping. While solar leasing programs are making solar power more available for individual homes. Wind power is a very hot topic right now with the Pickens Plan receiving a great deal of publicity. If we are able to capture the tremendous wind energy resources in the US, and then develop an environmentally friendly means of distributing it around the country, it could make a significant contribution to the greening of America.

Along with the growth in the availability of green products has come the problem of identifying what is truly green and “how green is it?” As with any product for sale, the claims of the best and the greenest can often be somewhat exaggerated. However, this need not be too big a distraction. It is not necessary to choose the most energy efficient, or the most natural cleaner, to contribute to a greener world. A higher efficiency rating in a replacement appliance, or a natural cleaning product that gives the best results, enhances the green footprint but should also fit in to the personal choices of a modern lifestyle.

The decision to go green can be as dramatic or as gradual as each individual or family wish to make it. Once the “green light” goes on however, it does appear to take on a life of its own. Each green choice, small or large, contributes to the growing movement towards a more eco-friendly world.

If the choices are there and the barriers to their use are coming down, who wouldn’t want to reduce their use of the earth’s finite resources and convert to a cleaner, less polluting, healthier, green lifestyle.

Peter O’Grady is the owner of It’s Eco Time.com and writes on a variety of subjects involving our impact on the environment and the options available for living a healthy and sustainable green lifestyle. To find products to save money, energy and water and for other green topics visit http://itsecotime.com and share your comments and questions.

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