Did You Know They’re “Green”?

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Sorry Kermit. You’re wrong. It can be easy to be “green.” Many companies advertise as being “green” or environmentally conscious, but there are many more unsung heroes of our economy with environmentally sound practices who never advertise that fact. I know the green movement is popular and monetizable, but where do you draw the line at what constitutes “green”? If they advertise that they’re green, is that truly an indication that they are a better and more eco-conscious option than say a retailer selling or used or refurbished items?

Doesn’t that create a discriminatory bias against merchants that are green but don’t scream it?

The phenomenon of greenwashing was reported on by SmartMoney.com as little more than a marketing technique that some are using to justify higher price tags. And the Prius example used in the article is fantastic, since most buyers of that car don’t realize that the batteries that they think make the car “green” wreak havoc on the environment once they are thrown away–alkaline acids, sulfur oxide, sulfuric acid, mercury, and tons more. People have no idea what they’re buying most of the time.

People like to buy the ad, not the reality.

But back to eco-friendly retailers that don’t use it as a marketing ploy:  There are a number of environmentally conscious alternatives those wishing to go green should take into consideration. For example, Apple offers refurbished computers to customers at discounted prices. Epson offers refurbished printers, projectors, scanners and more. Most office supply stores (Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, etc.) have printer ink cartridge recycling programs. Just check online or call the store to inquire and bring them in with you next time.

Battery stores often offer battery recycling at their retail locations. Home Depot recycles all types of batteries as well. Timberland, The North Face and Mountainsmith now make some products from recycled materials and plastic grocery bags. Buying a used car is a form of recycling. In fact buying anything “used” is pretty “green.” Think about it. Would you throw away your car because the headlights don’t work? Of course not.

Thrift stores are a form of recycling. Goodwill, Salvation Army and other charities are a great way to recycle items from clothing to household goods. These are all ways to keep items out of our landfills, keep usable goods in use, and save resources for other needs.

Maybe even Kermit can change his tune.

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