Dumb victims of green trends
Can we trust green solutions? What's good and what's bad?
Since green has become the buzzword of all mass media on all continents including Antarctica, fad green ideas enter the market.
Growing numbers of businesses are trying to capitalise on green trends. Public opinion has become more receptive towards green solutions, consumers are prepared to pay premium for the green tick of approval for more and more products.
Yet not many question the green solutions end-to-end.
Let's take an example: Solar panels are all the rage in Australia now. Not many people seem to take into consideration faint voices of protest against solar panels. Why would you? The panels are so good, they use totally renewable energy of the Sun instead of traditional coal-based electricity that leaves massive carbon footprint and depletes the Earth of natural resources such as coal.
The essential question must be asked: What does it take to implement the solution including every of its elements? How much carbon footprint do we produce while manufacturing solar panels? All their elements? What about other processes needed to produce the panels? Is there any other waste? Any waste difficult to recycle? How much water is being used in this process? How much electricity does it take to produce a solar panel? Will the solar panel produce enough electricity over the years of its life to justify the energy saving? What about recycling the panel when it's no longer needed? How much energy will it take to recycle the panel? Is it possible within current technologies to fully recycle the panel?
We must do our sums. End to end.
Once we truly understand the impact of a new solution, we should only accept and implement the solutions that provide clear nett benefit to the Earth.
Otherwise we are just dumb victims of those who cunningly commercialise green trends. Plenty of smart-ass businesses will want to milk our environmental goodwill.