Monday, June 23, 2008

Going Green vs. Going Organic

Going green has become all the rage, and while it is obviously the right thing to do from an environmental point of view, it can easily be expensive. Is it worth the cost?

Remember when everyone started wanting every food to be organic? It was a great idea, and the number of people that were willing to pay extra for organic food seemed to grow every day. Unfortunately, food and oil prices have recently risen dramatically, and suddenly everyone is shying away from organic food and its cost. Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, etc. have all seen a large decrease in foot traffic and sales over the last few months. Will the same thing happen to going green?

The answer is almost definitely no. The reason is pretty simple. Little one time changes here and there can help save money and energy. From compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) to programmable thermostats to dripline irrigation systems each will cost more initially, but in the end, they would each save the homeowner money and be environmentally friendly. This is much different from eating organic foods because that is an increased every single week… not just once. These are just little examples, but they can make a big difference when a neighborhood, community, or city makes the change. By the way, did you know that some insurance companies will give you a “utility credit” for a home that is more energy efficient? It can save you as much as 10%... Usually it is new homes that will qualify.

There are some things that definitely do cost more by going green, but as with most new technology, the initial costs are high, but they start to come down (CFLs have become much, much cheaper and better). Hybrid cars are still too pricey, and if you check the calculators on how long you need to keep the car to save money, you will notice it is not yet very economical... but it will be in the future.

The question is what does the future hold? Will cars continue to be hybrids or will batteries become better allowing for longer trips? Will solar energy or wind energy become more readily available? What will the energy source(s) of the future be? All of these answers have different business possibilities and investment opportunities, yet in the end, which will be the winner? Only time will tell...

Want to learn more about going green? Visit The Green Guide – the site includes information for your green home, green products (from towels to beer), and a green buying guide.

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