” Green technologies – going green – is bigger than the Internet. It could be the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century.”
John Doerr, Businessman
The Pros & Cons of Going Green
Eco-friendly living becomes increasingly important. Along with this concept comes the movement of going green, which basically aims to improve our ecological footprint in all parts of our daily life.
We have many environmental problems to solve and going green might be a good measure for this.
However, there are also some problems related to the going green movement.
In this article, the pros and cons of going green are examined.
Advantages & Reasons for Going Green
- You can save energy
- You can save water
- Waste reduction
- More sophisticated recycling practices
- Protection of our natural resources
- You can save money in the long run
- You will be full of energy and motivation
- Reduction in deforestation
- Fewer mining activities needed
- Less air pollution
- Less smog
- Less particle pollution
- Slowing down climate change
- Mitigation of water pollution
- Improvements in overall health
- Fewer fossil fuels have to be used
- Energy transition process is supported
- Increasing value of your home
- Sustainable form of living
- Ensures a bright future for the next generations
- Clean conscience
- Green travel
- You can also go green at work
- Going green can strengthen a company’s brand
- Tax advantages
You can save energy
One important advantage of going green is that you can save plenty of energy in the long run. Going green implies that you turn off your light and your electronic devices every time you don’t need them. Moreover, you should also buy energy-efficient household devices in order to make your behavior even more eco-friendly.
Over time, you will notice that your energy bill will be significantly lower and you can not only save plenty of energy, but also large amounts of money since energy will likely become even more expensive in the future.
You can save water
You can also save plenty of water in all parts of your daily life. For instance, if you are someone who takes a full bath several times a week, try to reduce it to once a week and replace the other times with showers instead.
The importance of water is still rather underestimated by many people but the real value of water will become quite obvious in the future since water will become quite a scarce resource due to global warming.
Another upside of going green is that we can also significantly reduce our waste production at home. Since waste has to be either burned or disposed into landfills, waste production implies serious adverse consequences for our environment.
In order to go green, you could try to buy things that are not packaged in excessive wrapping material. Moreover, try to bring your own fabric bag instead of using disposable plastic bags in stores.
If you love coffee, chances are that you often go for a coffee-to-go and use disposable plastic cups. However, the use of those cups poses a big problem for our environment since it implies the production of plenty of unnecessary plastic waste.
Therefore, with all this in mind, try to adjust your behavior by going green and therefore to avoid waste whenever possible.
More sophisticated recycling practices
Apart from waste reduction, more sophisticated recycling processes can improve your ecological footprint even further.
Thus, make sure that you separate your waste properly so that it can be recycled in the most efficient manner.
Only then will it be possible to use our natural resources in the most efficient manner.
Protection of our natural resources
In general, another advantage of going green is to protect our natural resources from depletion. In our production processes, companies still use large amounts of fossil resources. However, this use of non-renewable resources implies serious issues since at one point in time, those resources will become entirely depleted.
Since our technological progress is heavily dependent on those resources, we have to protect them whenever possible in order to assure the supply with those precious resources for as long as possible.
You can save money in the long run
Not only can you contribute to the reduction of several environmental problems by going green, you can also save significant amounts of money in the long run.
Electricity and water will become even more expensive in the future and it would also make sense from an economic standpoint to reduce the consumption of those resources in order to save money.
You could either invest those savings or spend it on your hobbies. Either way, our planet as well as your finances will both win in the long run by going green.
You will be full of energy and motivation
Once you noticed how good it can feel to act in an eco-friendlier manner, chances are that you will get up every morning full of energy and with the motivation to protect our planet from destruction.
This boost of energy will not give you the motivation to behave green, it will also help you in all other tasks of your daily life since success and motivation are closely linked and if you have a higher level of motivation, your chances for success in life will vastly increase as well.
Reduction in deforestation
Thus, it is crucial to protect our forests. Deforestation is often caused by mining for natural resources. Therefore, you should reduce your consumption of material goods as well as save energy whenever possible since you indirectly also reduce the deforestation issue due to those measures.
Fewer mining activities needed
In general, mining is a significant problem for our planet. It is needed to extract excessive amounts of resources out of the ground. Since our world population is growing at an alarming rate and also our average consumption levels increase, this also implies an increase in the need for mining.
Thus, it is crucial to save as many resources as possible by going green in order to avoid all kinds of adverse effects related to mining.
Less air pollution
By going green, we can also reduce the air pollution problem to a certain extent. This could be achieved by refraining from using your car and going by public transport instead.
Even better would be if you walk or take your bike for short distances. By doing so, fewer amounts of harmful gases will be emitted into the air and our air quality would improve.
Especially at rush hour, big cities are often literally covered with smog. However, smog can be quite harmful to our health and can also imply significant visual pollution.
It is therefore important to reduce the smog problem by going green. You can contribute to reducing smog levels by commuting by alternative means of transport instead of your car.
This could mean using public transport, but it could also mean going by electric scooter or by other vehicles that do not emit harmful gases into our air.
Less particle pollution
The use of conventional cars also implies the combustion of fossil fuels, which in turn contribute to particle pollution.
Particle pollution can cause all kinds of health problems, including serious pulmonary diseases and cancer.
Thus, we should also try to reduce particle pollution by reducing the use of our cars and by using alternative means of transport instead.
Slowing down climate change
By living in a green manner, we can also slow down climate change to a certain extent. Since many studies have shown that greenhouse gases are one main factor when it comes to global warming, we can reduce the global warming issue by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
This can be achieved by reducing our consumption and also by refraining from the use of our cars.
Mitigation of water pollution
Water pollution is quite a serious environmental problem. Large areas of our ocean surface are already covered with waste. In addition, large amounts of microplastics pollute our lakes, rivers and oceans.
By going green, we can reduce the water pollution problem by producing less waste. We should also try to refrain from buying items that are made out of plastic since part of this plastic waste will end up in our water bodies and will take a quite long time to decompose.
Improvements in overall health
Since going green also implies to learn about our environmental issues and the related adverse effects, people who want to go green are often also more aware of how their actions and their consumption affect our planet as well as our health.
Thus, those people will be more eager to engage in healthy food consumption and their overall health tends to be better due to this information and awareness advantage.
Fewer fossil fuels have to be used
In general, by going green, we should try to avoid everything that is made or produced with the help of fossil fuels.
The use of fossil fuels is bad for our environment since it implies large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.
Moreover, as the name tells us, fossil fuels are non-renewable and may become depleted in the near future.
Energy transition process is supported
It is also crucial that we transit from fossil to renewable alternative energy sources as soon as possible in order to slow down global warming and to reduce the pollution problem.
By going green, we can support this mission. For instance, we could install solar panels on our roofs or use other renewable power sources.
Increasing value of your home
Going green can also have a positive impact on the value of your house. Since people become increasingly aware of the importance of saving our planet, many of them prefer to buy a home that is eco-friendly.
Thus, by installing solar panels or other devices that support the going green movement, you can significantly increase the value of your house and do good for our planet at the same time.
Sustainable form of living
Another benefit of going green is that it encourages lifestyles that are sustainable in the long run. We as humanity currently only have one earth and we have to protect this precious living environment at all costs. It is therefore necessary to take action to make our lifestyles more sustainable.
There are several ways to make your life more sustainable which are quite simple to implement in your daily life and everyone should take efforts to do so.
Ensures a bright future for the next generations
We should also feel the responsibility to sustain our planet as well as a high quality of life for the next generations. It is easy to exploit everything we have and just also waste the future of our kids. However, this is not a good idea from an ethical perspective and everyone of us should feel obligated to protect the beauty of our planet.
Imagine that at one point in time, your kid asks you why our planet has become a garbage dump. Would you be happy to answer that you had also been contributing to this mess?
By going green, you can also assure a clean conscience. For instance, if you do not act eco-friendly, you might always think about it subconsciously and may feel a high level of guilt deep inside.
However, by going eco-friendly instead, you can have a much better conscience, which will likely translate into overall improvements of quality of life.
Going green also implies traveling as green as possible. Sure, in some cases when you have to travel quite long distances, using a plane might be unavoidable in many cases which will be rather bad for our environment.
However, there are still many other ways how you can make your travels greener and you should definitely check this out since many of those tips are really easy to implement.
You can also go green at work
Going green is not confined to your leisure activities, it can also play an important role when it comes to your job.
Many companies recognized that being eco-friendly can provide many chances and therefore, many companies even encourage eco-friendly behavior.
Thus, make sure to also behave eco-friendly at work in order to further improve your ecological footprint.
Going green can strengthen a company’s brand
In our nowadays age, it is quite important how consumers perceive a company’s brand. For instance, if a company is known to treat their employees quite poorly or that it does not care about our planet at all, many customers might refrain from buying from this company.
Thus, it is quite important for companies to go green in order to strengthen their brand and to stay competitive in the long run.
Another financial advantage of going green is that in many countries, there are quite generous tax advantages for green energies.
Thus, if you own a house, installing solar panels may be quite profitable since you could save plenty of energy on conventional fuels while getting tax subsidies at the same time.
Disadvantages of Green Living
- Going green takes some effort
- May need significant initial investments
- May be time-consuming
- You might have to inform and educate yourself
- Organic products are more expensive
- Social isolation
- Green infrastructure might be missing in some regions
- Can be costly for businesses
- Confined variety of products
- You may have a hard time finding industry experts
- Companies may misuse the term green for their purposes
- High level of motivation needed to stay green
Going green takes some effort
Although going green has many important advantages, it also implies some downsides. One disadvantage of going green is that it takes some effort to implement eco-friendly tasks and changes in your daily life.
The more you want to improve your ecological footprint, the more effort you have to put into it, which may be quite hard, especially if you work in a demanding job and you come home tired every evening.
Thus, do not expect it to be too easy. Even though some measures for going green might be quite simple, others may take more effort to implement.
May need significant initial investments
For some eco-friendly devices, you might also have to spend plenty of money. For instance, installing solar panels on your roof might not be cheap.
Thus, even though it might amortize in the long run, those initial costs have to be financed somehow and you might take a loan in order to be able to afford those changes.
May be time-consuming
Going green does not only imply serious efforts from your side, it can also be quite time-consuming. For instance, you might have to buy some eco-friendly devices and install them.
Moreover, the separation of waste may take longer now if you do it in a green manner. Thus, there are many things in your daily life which might take a little bit longer.
Still, you should go for it since the price of a bright future for the next generations should be worth some additional effort from all of us.
You might have to inform and educate yourself
Going green also implies to inform yourself about how your actions affect our planet and what measures you can take in order to improve your ecological footprint.
Even though this information is basically free and you can access it through the internet, it will still take time and a high level of self-reliance from your side to do so.
Thus, this information does not come to you easily, you have to inform yourself and actually take actions and may people may struggle to do so.
Organic products are more expensive
Going green can also mean buying organic instead of conventional foods. Even though those products are generally quite good for our health and also protect our farm animals from poor living conditions, organic food products are often much more expensive and especially if you are on a budget right now, you might not be able to afford switching to organic food at this point in time.
Depending on the region, going green might also be quite difficult from a social standpoint. If you live in an area which is quite conservative and where people do not like changes at all, you might have a quite hard time to live eco-friendly since many shops will not provide eco-friendly devices.
Moreover, you may even become socially isolated if you do not join local customs that imply an eco-unfriendly behavior in some regions.
Green infrastructure might be missing in some regions
Another problem related to going green is that the overall infrastructure to behave eco-friendly might be quite bad. For instance, if you live in a small village, chances are that the public transportation system will be quite bad and you might have to rely on your car, no matter if you want it or not since you will not be able to get to work in time otherwise.
Thus, especially in remote regions, it might be quite hard to actually go green.
Can be costly for businesses
Going green is also an important task when it comes to businesses. However, the initial investments in green tech may also imply a serious drop in profits in the first years.
Thus, if the board of directors is compensated in a short-term manner, decision-makers in those companies may rather refrain from going green since they fear to lose their high bonuses.
Confined variety of products
Although the variety of eco-friendly products significantly increased over the past decade, the selection of eco-friendly products is still relatively confined and you might have a hard time in some regions to go green.
This may imply that you have to go shopping in many different stores in order to get everything you want, which can be quite time-consuming.
You may have a hard time finding industry experts
Since going green has become popular over the last few years, there are still not too many industry experts around in this field and you might have a hard time finding competent workers who are able to fix your green devices in case they break down.
This may be a serious issue, especially in remote rural areas and you might have to acquire plenty of knowledge to do repairs by yourself.
Companies may misuse the term green for their purposes
Since the term green sounds good to customers, companies may misuse this term for their advantage. For instance, some companies may claim that their products are in line with the concept of going green, while those products may not actually be eco-friendly at all.
Thus, make sure to inform yourself so you can detect misleading claims before buying certain products.
High level of motivation needed to stay green
It is relatively easy to start going green. However, to actually stay green over a long period of time may be quite exhausting and requires plenty of motivation. Many people might not have this motivation and may quit the green lifestyle sooner or later.
Top 10 Going Green Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Going Green Pros||Going Green Cons|
|You can save water||Going green may take some effort|
|Reduction of energy consumption||Green products may be expensive|
|Better recycling||Limited variety of product|
|Less waste||High upfront costs|
|Mitigation of resource depletion||Green infrastructure may be missing|
|Less air pollution||Social isolation|
|Less particle pollution||Eco-friendly living can be time-consuming|
|Less water pollution||Costly for businesses in the short run|
|Slowing down global warming||Difficult to find experts in this field|
|You can save money in the long run||Takes a high level of motivation in the long run|
Should You Make Efforts For Going Green?
As we can see from the previous argumentation, there are many advantages of going green and you should definitely make efforts to behave more eco-friendly in your daily life.
However, there are also some problems with this green lifestyle. Thus, even though you might not be able to implement all measures that are related to a green lifestyle, every green measure counts and you should keep this in mind in order not to give up your green lifestyle too early in case you face some problems.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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