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What It Means To Be "Green"

Lately, consumers are seeing more and more business, services, and products going green. Environmental awareness and decreasing natural resources have companies and consumers seeking ways to reduce their environmental footprint

So, what exactly does it mean to be green? The terms "green" and/or "going green" are increasingly used to describe products and processes designed or conducted in way that reduces a negative impact or increases a positive impact on the environment.

Sustainability

Green products put a focus on sustainability as it relates to resource conservation, efficiency, and renewable alternatives. An understanding of sustainability helps us to choose products the meet our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. While going green encompasses many efforts, some of the more common are:

  • Conserving natural resources
  • Controlling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reducing waste
  • Conserving energy and being more energy efficient
  • Reducing the use of products that have a negative environmental impact

What Can You Do?

Seeking out and purchasing green products can help to lessen a negative environmental impact, while encouraging companies to produce more environmentally-conscious products

Some Examples Of Green Products:

  • 100% organic cotton goods are made with cotton that is generally grown without the use of toxic pesticides commonly used on conventional crops
  • Footwear that utilizes recycled rubber in soles instead of petroleum-derived polyurethane or PVC
  • Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) use significantly less energy and generally burn longer than traditional incandescent lighting

Since there is no industry standard, a product that claims to be green should include an explanation of exactly what about the product or its production qualifies it as green. Be sure to look for this before making a purchasing decision

"Eco-Friendly"

Some products are innately environmentally positive and are often called "eco-friendly" or "environmentally-friendly". By design, they have minimum negative impact, or a positive impact, on the environment.

For example, a bicycle provides a resource-saving transportation option while having a minimal negative impact on the environment and solar energy provides a non-polluting, non-environmentally-taxing way to provide power.

Looking Ahead

Both "green" and "eco-friendly" are evolving terms that relative to environmental conditions and situations. The best way to go green is to research the items you intend to purchase and compare them to the alternatives.