Going green

Going green is a new concept that is trending in many sectors of society and business due to the increased awareness of the need to become conscious of our environment as a result of the many environmental problems that are facing planet earth.

As a result of the increasing environmental concerns such as climate change, civil society, governments, and the private sector have developed local, regional, and international policies that promote this concept.

Most of these policies target businesses and consumers in general to adopt eco products and eco practices that will result in maintaining our environment for sustainability reasons.

Why businesses and individuals go green?

For businesses, going green is adopting both eco products and eco practices that eliminate or reduce environmental burdens. Going green for businesses is profitable in the long-term depending on what strategies are taken by a specific brand to make it socially responsible both in the short and long-term.

In most cases, going green is a voluntary action, but in some areas when it has to do with air pollution or climate change, the government may use regulation, to cause businesses in specific sectors to develop innovations for reducing their environmental burdens.

Environmental impacts can take the form of solid waste that normally ends up in a land-fill or liquid waste that may end up in water bodies (rivers, lakes, or even oceans).

Environmental impacts can also result in air pollution and adopting sustainable innovations will help to reduce or eliminate air pollution resulting from greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) or other potentially harmful gases like sulfur dioxide (SO2).

going green

With such innovations (e.g., a gas scrubber), pollution levels are reduced or eliminated to acceptable levels that will not have potentially harmful long-term effects on the environment or affecting the health of neighboring communities.

For homes or individuals, going green is mostly a voluntary action as a result of behavioral change resulting from environmental campaigns from government, civil society, or the private sector.

However, some individuals go green because of their core values inbuilt in their belief system that cause them to invest in eco products or eco-friendly practices that have a potential positive impact in their lives and or the environment in general.

Benefits of going green for businesses and individuals

1. Benefits of going green for individuals

Going green is a concept that revolves many sectors in energy, transportation, manufacturing, design, food, health, and many other industries that help to build the national or the global economy.

As a result, since all these sectors involve the end-user or consumers, many innovations both eco products and eco practices have been developed in each of these sectors to target consumers that are environmentally conscious about their carbon footprint or environmental impact.

As such, consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the following behaviors as it relates to the environment:

going green

    1. The type of energy to adapt and have minimal effects on the environment such as sustainable green solutions, i.e., go green solar, biogas, wind power, energy efficiency lights (LEDs), etc
    2. The type of transportation to use, i.e., using green transportation such as electric vehicles, public transport, eco hybrid cars or using sustainable biofuels to fuel vehicles (bio-ethanol, bio-diesel, etc.)
    3. Buying eco-products produced with cleaner or green production manufacturing systems (e.g., sustainable manufacturing) or eco products designed with materials that are non-toxic, biodegradable or that can be recycled easily or whose packaging (containers) can be recycled. Examples of eco products include green paper products (green paper), organic cleaning products, and other eco-friendly home products that help your home to stay clean, healthy while reducing your carbon footprint or environmental impacts.

going green

  1. Going green is both an environmental and a health-conscious effort. By adopting eco-friendly home products and food sourced from sustainable agricultural eco-products (organic products), such adoption is suitable for both the health of an individual and the environment in the long-term. However, even though going green in the short-term can be expensive, in the long-term, it will save you money that could have been used to fix issues resulting from unsustainable practices. Hence, a win-win for both your health and the environment.
  2. When it comes to food; going green revolves around products produced using sustainable agriculture, i.e., in most cases using organic farming and other sustainable practices. Nowadays, some certifications will help to certify agricultural products that meet sustainable agricultural standards. For instance, Rainforest Alliance was the first independent, third-party certification in 1993 that certified the first banana plantation to meet Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) standards. SAN standards help to conserve forests or other natural ecosystems prohibiting their conversion to cropland, protect workers and wildlife while regulating the use of chemicals and other farming practices.

going green

2. Benefits of going green for businesses

Going green at work will depend on various factors including, but not limited to the type of business that you conduct, your processes, and generally, the kind of waste created from your work system put in place.

The nature of your business refers to what is your core business i.e. are you a service or product-oriented company? Service companies could be marketing agencies, law firms, government, hospitals, or social organizations like churches, etc.

Product companies could refer to manufacturing, design, agriculture or hotels, and other businesses that deal with developing and coming up with an end-product.

going green Because companies are in the business of creation, going green for them, have to do with their product design or the business model or practices that are adapted to go green while being socially responsible in their business operations.

  1. Product or design companies: Manufacturers and design companies will go green when they develop eco products that are sustainable, i.e., profitable and that improve the lives of people, and that is good to the environment. Investing to create a viable product will help to build the brand of the company, for example as a corporate socially responsible entity and because of the current sustainability issues that the world is facing today such as climate change, eco products will tend to win the attention of consumers who are increasingly becoming aware of the going green concept. Companies can innovate and come up with sustainable products, and today, there many many sustainability tools online that can help companies to develop eco products or sustainable products
  2. Service-oriented companies: Because service companies are not making products, going green for these types of companies can take the form of greening their processes, i.e., adopting green procurement in their business operations and developing eco-sustainable solutions such as looking for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle to eliminate waste. Such companies can also explore green energy solutions such as going solar or adopting green office ideas. You can learn more about these example companies going green in this blog.

For both product and service-oriented companies, going green or implementing sustainability can involve a lot of examples, and the above are just a few examples.

This blog: reneenergy.com attempts to provide such examples and present case studies of companies that are already implementing going green ideas to save money and the environment at the same time.

Also, going green and corporate social responsibility complement each other and can be used to help companies build a brand that consumers can trust and remain competitive even when sustainability issues like climate change demand companies to innovate more in the business world.

What is the first step before going green for both businesses and individuals?

With the above few examples of going green; the first step of going green usually starts with knowing your sustainability impact as an individual or business and then creating an action plan that will help with making progress will making continuous improvements along the sustainability path.

Because climate change is one of the most challenging sustainability issues, calculating your carbon footprint will help you gain an understanding of how your actions and lifestyle will impact the planet.

going green

Getting to know your carbon footprint estimate is only the beginning and you might be surprised by the figures you get.

When it comes to reducing your carbon footprint the location or geographical location does matter because any activity such as switching to solar energy done in any part of the world will have a global impact and it can be experienced anywhere in this world.

The reverse is true; any trees cut down in any location anywhere in the world will also have the same effect.

Please see the below calculator to help you determine your carbon footprint.Also, there are various online tools in the world wide web that can help you track your actions or choices to determine what impact they will have on the sustainability path.  

So, what is going green in simple terms?

Going green based on the above background it is, knowing your sustainability impact and acting on it to reduce your specific environmental burdens through continuous improvement.

Today, there are various innovations for helping us to move towards sustainability, including but not limited to clean energy, energy efficiency, and conservation, adoption of eco products and sustainable practices, or approval of other green sustainable solutions that affect our sustainability actions and carbon footprint.

However, as we have noted going green is meant to help us achieve sustainability, and these two concepts go hand in hand and since sustainability is measurable; it is a good thing to determine your current status, adopt sustainability and measure progress as you improve towards the process of going green.

going green

Going green is a process that can also be conducted by cities, countries, individuals, companies, or even communities. 

One simple action that can help you start today towards going green is estimating your carbon footprint using the below carbon footprint calculator and determine how much you can offset by going solar.

going green

The solar power calculator gives you the information you need to know to help you decide whether solar energy is right for you. 

Going green

Going green is beneficial to homes and businesses that practice ways to minimize waste whether through recycling or saving energy to reduce negative impacts to the environment. It is beneficial because companies or individuals get alternatives for products, processes or ways that can prove harmful to the environment or health of families and individuals.

However, since “going green” is a growing term many people may confuse what is exactly the meaning of “going green” which is a behavioral change that calls for changing our patterns of production and consumption and adopting practices that help to reduce our carbon foot print thus improving the environment. For instance, businesses may change their production systems or processes to adopt clean technologies that could help reduce pollution of harmful gases or toxins that may affect the environment perhaps causing climate change or have negative health impacts to people or society.

Going green helps to save money while at the same time contributing to conserving the environment for future generations. Whether it is going solar, driving the right car or making your home energy smart; going green helps to improve the environment while you spend less, save more, earn more or even pay fewer taxes.

natural organic products

Going green starts by using online tools or calculators to determine your impact to the environment or simply put “knowing your carbon footprint”. Knowing your carbon footprint involves calculating the amount of carbon that result from your daily activities that are believed to have a negative impact to the environment in terms of greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere. Such activities may include but not limited to your daily usage of electricity, driving a car, waste disposal etc. All these activities when summed up make up your household’s carbon footprint.

Since going green is a behavioral change; some of the known practices of going green involve the following among other things:

  • Green shopping or buying green products
  • Reducing waste and recycling
  • Energy efficiency
  • Going Solar

Green Shopping or buying green products

With the increased awareness about global warming, many businesses and individuals are turning to buying green products or what is commonly referred to as green shopping. Consumers are becoming more aware about green products that have a potential to reduce harmful effects to the environment or even to one’s health. Increased awareness means you can make good judgment about deciding about what products to purchase. For instance, consumers may decide to purchase green cleaning products that have biodegradable chemicals that won’t cause eutrophication to the environment or cause health problems to individuals using them.

natural organic products

Reducing waste and recycling

Going green also involves developing ways that can help you reduce or minimize waste. Reducing waste and recycling will depend on the products that you shop. For instance, you can buy only the products that you are going to use without wasting or products that can be re-used. Also instead of buying different cleaning products; you may consider to buy a multi-purpose cleaner that takes care of all you cleaning needs. You may also consider to buy products that have less little packaging to reduce your overall waste generation. Recycling could be applied to products that are packaged with bottles that can then be recycled and used for storage or other purposes hence reducing the need to waste while promoting more recycling. Also buying rechargeable batteries will help to reduce waste significantly as you can always recharge these batteries whenever they are used up. Any unwanted stuff (e.g.unwanted clothing, shoes etc) could be donated to charities instead of dumping such unwanted stuff to a landfill. Paper waste can be reduced by subscribing to online services and avoid paper letters on your mailbox.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is one of the ways to reduce energy wastage and help to reduce your carbon footprint and it involves conducting an energy audit and implementing energy measures identified. Energy efficiency examples include very simple tasks such as turning off lights when not being utilized or even replacing an incandescent lamp with a compact fluorescent lamp. Such practices will help you to conserve energy and hence reduce your carbon footprint when greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. However, energy efficiency need a plan to help you achieve your saving energy goals while identifying areas of improvement and the measures to be implemented. This will also help to understand the kind of investment needed as well as the payback period for the measures to be implemented.

Going Solar

Going solar has become one of the trends to going green and in the USA more than 1 million households have already switched to solar. Today going solar does not require you to own the solar panels that may require high initial costs, but could be pocket friendly in the long-term. Solar energy can have high initial costs of up to $15,000 and for homes that may not be unable to afford such costs can lease or enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a solar provider so that they don’t have to own these solar panels and can go solar with zero money down. Using leasing or solar PPA, businesses and homeowners can go solar without paying anything upfront and still enjoy savings of up to 30% because solar providers provide slightly lower rates compared to utility power rates offered to them. To learn more about how to go solar or to determine how much you can save with going solar and get started here. Also you can determine whether solar panels are worth it for your specific case by just typing your address

The above examples of going green are just to help you get started in the process of going green. Other examples include driving electric cars, buying organic products, telecommuting, car sharing etc. To learn more about going green check this article.

 

 

Reneenergy.com

An online solar platform for information about solar energy options, online solar applications, and sustainability. Find online solar calculators, solar apps, and information about solar PV solutions for different uses.

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