Is there ever any sort of healthy co-existence between making money and preserving our environment? It is true that everybody always cares about money, but it does not mean that the environment has to suffer. Oftentimes, unfortunately it seems to be the case, but it does not have to be that way. One is not mutually exclusive of the other.
My point of contention is that we can combine the economic prosperity with the betterment of our environment. – This is where some real green living awareness on an individual level can make a difference.
Allow me to illustrate my point with two examples that are very concurrent and relevant to understanding the current state of affairs in the U.S and learning from the mistakes of the not so distant past.
Death of the electric vehicle or GM kills the electric vehicle… Why?
Whose fault was it that GM was to0 busy worrying about the price of its stock, and making money by producing fuel hungry cars and SUVs, and suing the state of California, while Toyota and Honda were developing energy efficient hybrids vehicles.
And what happened when the electric vehicle program, although expensive at the time proved to be a success? What did GM do? They decided to kill the electric vehicle program altogether, although there were many people willing to buy those electric cars in the state of California. That was wrong on the part of GM, and displays a clear lock of corporate social responsibility. Not to mention, their greed and obsession with price of the stock is responsible for the current state of affairs of auto-making industry in the U.S today. I am not even going to mention their current stock situation, and the governmental bailouts that we are paying for?
So was it excessive corporate greed, lack of foresight, or a little bit of both?
Now GM is losing all the money because of its greed and lack of foresight, in the past. Toyota and Honda on the other hand, are ripping the benefits for investing and building the hybrid vehicles. Toyota and Honda are making money, but also helping the environment by propagating the idea of clean air, ultra low emissions, reduced carbon footprint, low fuel consumption and energy efficiency. It is a win win example of money working to better the environment.
Connection between Crude oil, Environment and, Surprisingly, Roofs over our heads
It is not just about ultra low emission cars. In fact, it is about something as mundane as residential building materials that go into the houses we live in. For instance, asphalt shingle roofs are petroleum based products that are heavily marketed by money hungry asphalt shingle roofing manufacturers. Asphalt shingle roof averages a lifespan of only 17 years, then comes the inevitable demise when it gets torn off and dumped into our landfills.
So what is the alternative you may ask, or is there any alternative? Yes there is, and it has been here all along!
Using the types of roofing materials that are environmentally friendly. Tamko, a heavy weight asphalt shingles roofing manufacturer, has made a switch by buying out Metal Works, a specialty manufacturer of steel shingles roofing, which is an energy efficient and environmentally safe building material. Metal roofing is fully recyclable, and lasts three times as long as asphalt shingle roofs.
Certainteed roofing, another heavy weight of the roofing industry, on the other hand keeps pushing its line of asphalt shingle roofing products despite the fact that they are bad for the environment. And who is there to rebuke them? Who is doing public education and spreading sustainable building awareness?
The U.S green building council is a not-profit body committed to sustainable building design and green construction practices, but how come their scope of influence is limited to mostly commercial construction? Why do we not hear more about it? What about EPA, and Energy Star? Why aren’t they doing public education campaigns to influence the corporate giants? Somebody has to do it. A lot of it is about awareness, and PR pressures, so spread the awareness and understanding, really. Can you do your part? Sure can, do not buy asphalt shingle roofs, nor fuel hungry SUVs. Think green and act upon it! Somebody’s quote comes to mind here… Yes we can! …. So can we really?
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