Being green can be a tough job. We care. Being eco-friendly means we want to use every available method out there. Many methods and products are giving us an eco-choice. Green housing and building construction. Hybrid and electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Biofuels for semi’s, RV’s, and buses – and your cars. Recycling paper and bottles and glass and plastic and metals. Using cloth instead of paper. Even radiator fluid that doesn’t instantly kill your pet.
All these things are great and there’s so much more being done by individuals and corporations. Many countries now have laws requiring certain products, materials, and methods to be used which are environmentally productive, or at least neutral, rather than destructive. But what about the little technology details?
The use of polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) for equipment has long been the standard. It was the first synthetic product to be patented in 1913 and it has slowly impregnated our world. The problem is that in every phase of its existence, from production to usage to disposal, this wonder plastic contaminates. It is not biodegradable, it can’t be recycled, it can’t be burned without releasing toxic gas, and it doesn’t keep to itself.
It’s not just about PVC, either. Chemicals from long used products, products that we know and love, products that we don’t give a second thought to – like batteries, are slowly and surely defiling our environment. Combine that with the poor use of energy, using products that don’t last – like standard light bulbs and it all just keeps compiling. The waste has taken a life of its own and will continue to bite us in the you-know-what.
As technology keeps rocketing forward, its use is nearly mandatory if you want to function in society. We do keep learning from our mistakes – once we admit we’ve been making mistakes. Solutions are continually being developed, implemented, and marketed.
More and more companies are jumping on board, like Subaru and Hewlett Packard, for instance. (Subaru has a zero landfill status and has dedicated its entire company to being environmentally conscious. HP continues to find ways for company recycling and even provides postage-free envelopes to customers to recycle old ink cartridges.)
Eco-friendly cables are being made with Thermoplastic Polyester Elastomer (TPE) instead of PVC. These cables are as hearty and picture/sound-worthy as the standard poisonous kind – but these are biodegradable and don’t shed dioxins.
Recyclable batteries for cameras, camcorders, and everything from button cells to C’s are being made cheaper and much more reliable. The chargers charge faster and the batteries last longer. And what doesn’t run on some sort of battery these days?
For energy costs, LED bulbs use 100 times less power and last 60 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They are a bit pricier to buy initially, but will save you tons of money on your energy bills and you won’t have to replace them for years and years. In the long run, you’ll save at least ten times what you would have spent doing it the old way.
Caring about the environment has become much more prevalent around the world. We’re starting to catch on that there really are consequences for our actions. The flickering green light bulbs in our brains are starting to burn brighter. It’s up to each of us to pick up the slack.
Sometimes eco-friendly products are hard to find, extremely inconvenient to get to, just beyond our budget, or just not available where we live. Make demands to your suppliers. Or buy online where stuff is available. The more we buy and support these products, the cheaper they will become. The benefits are speaking for themselves. Someday, it will be easy being green. Won’t Kermit be happy?