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Friday, July 25, 2008

Green Is Trendy - And It's Working

Ann-Marie Luciano Bio

Not so long ago, those who expressed concern about global warming, species loss or really anything related to environmental health and conservation were labeled as tree-hugging, self-righteous liberals. Sometimes the word "ecoterrorist" was thrown around by the right. Many joked that these eco-liberals cared more about a spotted owl than prosperity. And these attacks worked, for the most part. Being green simply wasn't cool.

Over the past few years, and increasingly during this new energy crisis, green is in. "Green is the New Black," is the new mantra. "Green-washing" -- misleading the public about the environmental impact of a given product or service -- is so pervasive that there is even a website ( that provides an online forum for consumers to evaluate the claims of various advertisements and representations.

In my view, this is all good news. If consumers want to buy Green, corporations will comply. The beauty of capitalism is that those who fail to compete - or those who compete dishonestly - are often sniffed out and punished by the consumer.

The other positive effect of this trend is that companies are thinking of creative and innovative ways to encourage their employees to be green or to offset their energy use in total -- i.e., to become "carbon neutral." Every day there seems to be a story about a company becoming carbon neutral or at least moving in that direction, such as Yahoo, Google, Dell and HSBC. Some communities are even becoming carbon neural. In July 2007, Vatican City announced its plan to become the first carbon neutral state in the world.

If this is a race to see who can become the "greenest" the fastest, I say, Let the races begin.

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