Thursday, January 22, 2009

Don't give up on green

Your budget is so tight, it's screaming out in agony. You're looking for places to cut costs, and that new green initiative looks like it's a good place to do some trimming.

In reality, the green products and green practices are one of the last places you should look to for cuts!

Why? Here are a few good reasons from the business buzz...

Green is here to stay.
In a world where population and energy use is on the rise due to increased industrialization and consumption in places like China and India, statements like "Save the earth" or "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" that used to sound like feel-good platitudes or tree-hugging ad slogans have become very real directives. If we are to survive as a planet and a species, changes in our throw-away mentality are a necessity. There just isn't enough to sustain us all given current practices. The changes will have to be made soon, and barring the invention of Star Trek-style replicators, will be permanent.

Green is in demand and that demand is growing.
A recent survey of restaurant owners and operators showed that the green fad has become the green mandate. Customers and employees alike are insisting on safer, greener cleaning products, greener ingredients in the food and greener practices in the restaurants they frequent. And as spending slows, businesses can no longer afford to ignore that loud voice of the green consumer. If they want a share of that shrinking spending pool, they will have to provide a greener dining experience. That means more demand for everything from green soaps and disinfectants to green paper goods, dishes, and take out containers. Even job applications and labor law posters are showing up in green versions.

In the long run, green will cost less.
As we shift from a more throw-away, wasteful economy to a green and aware one, the overall cost for green products will drop below that of more wasteful ones. That means more demand in that on-the-fence segment who wants a greener choice but will not (or cannot) pay a premium for it now. And the increased demand will further reduce the costs of products created using efficient practices and recycled "raw" materials. Getting in on the trend now means you'll be able to reap the benefits in the short and long run. Waiting until the shift is complete will be too late.