Products are usually regarded as green if their use do not impact negatively on the environment.
Such negative impact include
- Reduction of the tree population whereby carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is not reduced, giving rise to the “greenhouse effect” whereby global businessshed rise. This has been blamed for climate changes, floods and irregular rainfall patterns.
- Increase in the waste products which contaminate the ground water or occupy space which should have been available for farming etc.
- Causing pollution and toxic effects on the soils and water thereby endangering human, plant and sea life.
- Consumption of resources which may not be renewable. A classic example is the use of some types of fossil fuels.
Green products are therefore, as alternatives, usually more expensive than the regular products, where no taxes are levied as a result of the potential damage they cause to the environment. This, of course refers to the third world, to where some have developed the habit of sending their products or relocating their factories to avoid strict environmental laws.
Unfortunately, environmental damage caused is not limited to political boundaries.
In starting a green business, it must be decided whether:-
- The business will be producing green products.
- Or if it will just be an outfit for marketing green products.
The two qualify as green businesses.
Running a green business may also imply using environmentally friendly inputs in preference to the regular ones which negatively impacts on the environment.
Using environmentally friendly inputs therefore do not offer cost advantages over environmentally unfriendly alternatives, although breakthroughs are recorded regularly.
Examples can be listed as follows:-
- Solar Panels: These still cost more to set up per unit of energy they produce, than air polluting gasoline or diesel powered generators. In addition, expensive battery backup systems must be purchased to store energy for times when no sunshine is available.
- Wind generators, require space and must be set up where high wind speed is guaranteed. This may not be close to the desired location of use.
- With the experience from Chernobyl, and more recently the Fukushima Daiichi incident, nuclear power is no longer regarded as green (safe for the environment).
- Those who produce green products have their destinies tied with the second category of users among who are the retailers the goods.
Are the users of these products ready to accommodate the higher capital costs in the interest of a sustained environmental preservation?