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Green or Not Green?

    • 6 posts
    September 16, 2008 8:19 AM EDT
    The key to being green is authenticity, transparency and honesty.  All green claims should be specific and backed with credible research.  Most of the other developed countries have green marketing standards which can serve as a good guide to best practices.  I blogged about this here <a href="http://greencpa.blogspot.com/2008/07/blog-post.html#links"> The Green CPA: Greenwashing and environmental claims</a> and have links to Canada`s standards.
     
    Being dishonest might get you a few bucks in the short run but will cost you in the long run and therefore isn`t a sustainable strategy.  Information flows to freely to think you`ll fool people with green claims for very long.  People are becoming more sophisticated by the day.

    LED is a great technology and leads to significant reductions in electricity and heat as well.  Most products aren`t necessarily going to be better on all dimensions.  It is admirable that you are looking for a better alternative to plastic but don`t let that hold you back from promoting the energy efficiency.
     
    One thing I might recommend is a life cycle analysis (LCA).  This would compare the true environmental cost of your product versus the standard over a significant time frame (say 50 years).  Does yours last longer?  Have a shorter supply chain? Use less energy? Recycle at all? Etc., etc.
     
    Good luck and feel free to contact me if you want to talk further.
     
    Brian C. Setzler, CPA
    MBA in Sustainable Business
    CPAandMBA9/16/2008 1:23 PM

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    Check out my blog at www.GreenCPA.blogspot.com

    • 2 posts
    January 20, 2009 7:16 PM EST
    I know first hand of how business owners feel about "going green" in their "waste" department.  I started a curbside recycling business in 2008, knowing full well I`d have to work for free to obtain that "great reputation" I take pride in now.  They don`t mind having a company other than the "Garbage Company" picking up their Cardboard....until.....there is a fee involved.  I have been picking up cardboard for free for 6 months from large companies and saving some of them anywhere from $300.00 and up per month on their traditional tip fees with the waste company.  When the market crashed and I needed to implement a fee that would either match what they would pay to the garbage company or save them money and support a local ran business; they went through the roof!  They thought why should they pay me to pick up something I would then turn and sell.  Did they forget I have expenses also?  I`m not picking up their cardboard and selling it 30sec. later the same way I got it.  It goes through a process much more detailed than dumping it from a dumpster into a truck and then into the land.  Some of those companies have chosen to go back to their "trashy" method of putting all those recyclable items back into the land instead of saving money with a hard working and responsible local business. They are actually offended that I want them to pay me something.  They do not earn any "Green Star" from me, that`s for sure!  
    Amber Emery
    CEO
    Carson Valley Recycling, LLC

    • 2 posts
    May 11, 2009 11:40 PM EDT
    cynchrys...your reply is really nice..and the poject  being worked is also very nice.
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    john
    Home Jobs

    • 10 posts
    September 9, 2008 7:12 AM EDT
    I`d like to promote my product as green, as it is very energy efficient.  LED lights use 90% less energy than the traditional bulbs. However, the product base is made out of plastic - not very environmentally friendly. I have been working with the manufacturer to see if we can use reclaimed plastics - don`t know if this is possible.  But what do you think?  Could I market the product as green on the merits that it saves electricity?  OR do you think the entire product, packaging etc... needs to be green as well?

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    Tom Huffman - Founder of NiteTrip.
    nitetrip.com
    LinkedIN Profile

    • 10 posts
    September 13, 2008 7:51 AM EDT
    Thank you all for your feedback. I think this was an excellent discussion and maybe hit on a nerve.  As to my specific product, I intend to promote its energy efficiency as a green alternative to traditional lighting. While I don`t expect people to buy my product because I say its green - I do believe that it will help.  As DMIGUY states, go with what sells - but I`ll add one condition in terms of my values - I won`t mislead or exaggerate to make a sale.  And I do intend to see if i can use recycled material in manufacturing to lower its carbon footprint.

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    Tom Huffman - Founder of NiteTrip.
    nitetrip.com
    LinkedIN Profile

    • 92 posts
    September 9, 2008 7:57 PM EDT
    Hi Tom,
     
    I think it`s great that you are working on such a great project.  Will your lights be mercury-free unlike the ones that many folks are promoting these days?  The mercury content on the lights today is concerning to me so I`m hoping that someone comes up with an energy efficient light that is free of mercury.
     
    Tracy

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    Tracy Barnhart, Owner
    Giverny, Inc. / Mini Me Geology
    http://www.GivernyOnline.com
    http://www.MiniMeGeology.com

    • 92 posts
    September 12, 2008 3:57 AM EDT
    Hi All,
     
    I don`t think that people necessarily buy "Green" over another product right now.  I think it is a lot of hype and not all of these products are being fully thought out.  CFLs are my big concern.  Yes, they may save energy now but in 15-20 years when there are millions of them in household trash (i.e. unlined landfills) they are going to contaminate the groundwater supply with mercury which, in my opinion, is a much bigger problem.   
     
    Please don`t think I`m against the environment.  I have worked for over 15 years as an environmental consultant performing soil and groundwater clean-ups.  But people should realize that the environmental laws today allow a certain amount of pollution and the use of all "green" products will not solve all of the environmental issues we have today.  I think we need to make as many truly environmentally-friendly products as possible but I also think that if marketers don`t watch the overuse of the word "green" then people will end up not caring.
     
    Someone told me that I should promote my products as Green because they are made of natural rocks and minerals but I have resisted because I think the products, what they are made of, and how they are used should be the emphasis instead of just pushing the word "green."
     
    Tracy

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    Tracy Barnhart, Owner
    Giverny, Inc. / Mini Me Geology
    http://www.GivernyOnline.com
    http://www.MiniMeGeology.com

    • 31 posts
    January 6, 2014 4:40 AM EST

    The computing sector also needs to get green for the best of nature. With more IT infrastructures coming in it is necessary to have a green computing environment. 

     


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