Green Revolution and the Economy

Topics: Environmentalism, Barack Obama, Sustainability Pages: 9 (3255 words) Published: April 27, 2010
Green Revolution and the Economy Throughout the years, human impact on the environment has had a huge effect on declining ecosystems and has negatively affected biodiversity of natural wildlife. (Lowy n.pag.) Going green was an idea created with the environment in mind, helping to recycle what we have and save the natural resources and wildlife we have left, so that our world can continue existing as it does today and perhaps even better in the future. (Obama For America n.pag.) Many businesses have begun to catch on to this new movement and are recognizing that consumers want to be a part of the change. (Makower 9) Supply and demand must be examined in the process to determine whether green products actually benefit in the American Economy. (It's Green, But Will People Want It n.pag.) Also, many new green products like the Toyota Prius are arriving on the market changing the way consumers think about conserving resources. (The 3rd Generation Prius n.pag.) The green revolution can be used as an in-depth study to determine what suppliers and consumers really value in the selling and buying of goods and how efficient these new environmentally friendly products are. So what are these “green products?” According to Joel Makower, Author of Strategies For The Green Economy, it all began with a movement towards conserving the environment. In the latter part of the 20th century, awareness of what was aroused by politicians and citizens alike who believed that the time had come to do something about the pollution that was continuously poisoning the environment. Thus began the green movement. The Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970 to begin to create laws and regulations that would

ultimately change the paradigm of American environmental awareness. (Makower 9) For the first time, the air, water, and even industry of the United States was regulated by this new force. By the 1980’s, businesses were catching onto the movement. Many began to reduce the amount of waste they produced in the first place so that they wouldn’t have to worry about clean up and disposal costs later on. This period in time was considered the birth of movements like “waste reduction,” “pollution prevention,” and “energy efficiency.” (Makower 10) More and more companies began to join the revolution, cutting down costs by keeping waste products low and eventually a new idea dawned on industry - Green products. If companies could significantly cut costs by reducing waste, what if they could create products that required less raw materials in the first place? Or what if resources could be reused and recycled to reduce environmental impact and save themselves money? As companies pondered this, they began to look into their own inventories and products to understand the environmental impacts of their goods. (Makower 11) The 1990’s marked the beginning of perhaps the most important idea of all sustainability. As Makower puts it, “this intergenerational Golden Rule” (Makower 12) became the main goal of industries as the race towards true sustainability: “the ability to continue one’s business operations indefinitely,” (Makower 12) became the true test of efficiency. This idea of sustainability would allow businesses to save huge amounts of money if they could figure out how to keep the cycle from ending by providing the right resources in the right combination of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle therefore cutting cost. This “‘Green is green’” concept (as coined by General Electrical Chairman Jeffrey Immelt),” (Makower 12) served as a way of recognizing “that environmental thinking can do more than improve the bottom line. It can help

to grow the top line through innovation, new markets, and new business opportunities.” (Makower 12) This is the point where sustainability becomes a reality. Businesses began to realize that by creating products that look out for the welfare of the environment, they can create a profit. Basically, companies found a...

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