How green is Green?

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Tooley Insurance Agency

You know, for every popular swing in opinion there is a marketing bonanza that just brings in floods of people dying to use it to pry dollars out of your hands.  But not all actually fall into lock step with the actual initial intent of the message.

Before you start getting ideas to the contrary, I probably grew up in a greener home than most of the voices of the green movement today, but we didn't call it being green, we called it waste not, want not.  I remember the long profitless and thankless days and evenings spent with my father tearing down an old house to salvage the lumber.  This wasn't a business for him, but the home was going to be demolished and was full of hardwood building materials.  So, we settled with the owner to tear it down for the lumber in it.  It was hard work, but for a couple of years after that people would stop in occasionally needing hardwood, or better quality wood than they could buy on the current market, and dad would oblige.  I remember learning to use a reel mower because "it was so pointless to run the gasoline powered mower".  But you know, when we did that we were the odd ducks that "just must not be able to afford a better lifestyle" in the eyes of onlookers.

Having said all this I will get to the point.  When someone wants to sell me a lightbulb that will save the earth, is anyone looking at the consequences of the manufacturing process?  What about the mercury gas in that bulb.  Sure, sure the label says dispose of properly, but what is properly, and how many people are doing that?  My education is in Physics, and I get excited about making the most benefit out of the least amount energy usage, but I am starting to have some questions.  For instance, what are the consequences of creating the solar panels?  Will more energy ever come out of them than has been used making them?  Those high tech materials take a lot of processing to create.  Are we taking this into account when looking at the benefits?  The problems always faced with electric cars has been portability.  Put the electricity into lead batteries and you have a lot of weight (not from the electricity)..... and lead.  So now we have new capabilities with batteries, but these are not easy on the enviroment.  They take increased mining and more intrusive smelting processes.

In conclusion, I say the following.  We have to start somewhere, and we have to change.  But WE determine the market place, and consequently have to do our homework.  A 30 second advertisement may have a conflict of interest when it comes to fully informing us of what is the best for the world.  Going green may not always be glamorous but it can be done, often times with less expense than we are investing now.

Comments (1)

Rick Trowe
Cerium Learning - Tulsa, OK
Go With Trowe

I'm green with envy of your knowledge John. :)

Aug 28, 2008 11:43 AM