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Sunday, April 4, 2010

It Ain't Easy Being Green

Seems being green is on an upswing once more.  I remember being in elementary school or middle school with conserving water and recycling was pushed hard, in middle school we planted pine saplings for Arbor Day.  That was all around 20 years ago and now once again it has come to the surface.

Now we are being asked to use “Green” products.  These products are made from either recycled products or from plant products and are compostable.  Which means that they won’t sit in a landfill for 20 years before breaking down and are not made with petroleum products.

This is all fine and great, but these products are also being touted as using fewer resources to produce.  Less water, electricity, gas and whatever else can be used to make it.  Thing is, if these products use less, why do they cost more?  How can companies be expected to be profitable in this economy when they have to buy these products that cost more than regularly produced products? 

I understand that some companies go this route because of corporate mandates or too be able to get government contracts; which is both the case for where I work, but for little companies, it will only hurt them in the long run.  Most consumers do not have a care in the world as to what the to go container that their Heavenly Hash is in, is made of.  The majority of people will look the other way in regards to their favorite eatery or coffee place and don’t care as long as the price remains the same, once that price goes up, those that frequent will tend to go elsewhere that is cheaper or not go as often to save some quid.

It cannot be expected for the small companies to ‘take the hit’ to their wallets just to be ‘green’.  It is a backwards way of thinking that is what would cause many companies to have to make cuts elsewhere if they expect to be profitable.  Those cuts would come in the form of cutting employees, lowering the quality of services that they offer.  Which in the terms of restaurants; which would the largest users of ‘green’ products, would mean cutting higher paid workers and hiring lesser skilled for lesser pay, using product for their menus that are a lesser quality but cost less or even using pre-packaged items to be able to remove some pre-prep to an item and thusly lowering someone’s hours or cutting them completely.

I think many of these ‘green’ companies are just riding a wave of popularity right now trying to get the most out of what is a bit of a scare tactic to get people to save resources.

Which is fine, but if you aren’t using all of these resources, why are you charging so much to the retailer if your product is by all means costing less to produce?

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