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These days it’s easy to be green

080112_plasticbag.jpgI predict that in 2008, green will become the new black. People are notoriously bad at predicting the future – witness the Iowa caucuses – but this is a safe guess because it’s already happening. Green, of course, doesn’t refer to the color, but to the embrace of ecological consciousness in all things. But like the color black, environmental green is also a fashion statement. Green is cool and getting cooler, even as it combats global warming. Business interests and people’s desire to be with it are intersecting and interacting with the environmental movement. There’s the Prius, for instance, Toyota’s hybrid gasoline-electric car for people who want to reduce carbon emissions. It’s green, cool and a hot seller. A number of automotive writers have pointed out that the Prius is a relatively expensive car. There are cheaper small cars with low carbon emissions, but they wouldn’t do nearly as much for an owner’s image. Even other hybrids suffered by comparison. The Prius comes only in a hybrid model, while most other hybrids have nonhybrid twins. People who want to be noticed being green have stayed away from twins, prompting at least one rival to increase the size of its hybrid logo. Lots of businesses are picking up the profit potential of going green. (…) Last summer, several reusable designer bags went on sale, including a Hermes bag priced at $960. The other end of the market is getting eco-friendly too. Wal-Mart’s been getting greener for a couple of years now, cutting its energy use, buying seafood from sustainable fisheries and pushing suppliers to adopt eco-friendly practices. Actually, Wal-Mart may be going after the Hermes bag crowd. There is suspicion that its eco-friendliness is just a way of attracting affluent shoppers who’ve stayed away because of the company’s labor policies and the ways in which it wields its corporate muscle. Still, it’s a move in the right direction. In July, Whole Foods began selling a cotton shopping bag for which people stood in line for hours. In a New York Times article about the sale, the designer, Anya Hindmarch, said, “I hate the idea of making the environment trendy, but you need to make it cool and then it becomes a habit.”So the right thing to do becomes the smart thing for businesses and the cool thing for individuals. You can’t always fight human nature; sometimes you just have to work with it for the benefit of all nature. Image source: > Continue.

News selected by Covalence | Country: Global | Company: Wal-Mart, Toyota, Whole Foods| Source: Seattle Times

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