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Is "going green" really the best way to go?

September 24th, 2010 at 04:26 am

Now I love the idea of going green when it saves you money. Less trash, better for the environment and less money spent on trash removal. Less water usage, better for the environment, and less cost. And on and on... you get the idea.

But lots of people promote green industries, which I agree is the best way to go long term, but too often I think people look at it as a "pain free" way to soothe their conscience, instead of doing what is really best (i.e. finding ways to use less, and *then* using renewable sources).

This thought came up with the arrival today of the latest electric bill. (btw, this month's bill was $36, not bad for 1/2 of August, 1/2 of September) In with the bill were as usual a number of inserts, including one where you can commit to purchase renewable electricity certificates. I looked into these in the past, and basically you just pay extra which subsidizes purchases from renewable sources so that the providers' costs are more in line with other power sources. This just never struck me as a good way to promote this. If renewable is good, and I agree it is, then the company should commit to purchasing some percentage of this power and spread the cost across all consumers, while trying to increase this percentage over time. Then people could concentrate on cutting down on their own usage, which would help the environment more than just buying these credits. And for those that don't conserve, well at least they are buying some renewable power as part of their overall utility cost.

Sorry, just a rant here, as I figure if I can cut down on usage, I'm helping myself *and* the environment, which is really the better way to "go green" all around. I'm not up for subsidizing green power for other users, which is what buying these certificates look like to me.

4 Responses to “Is "going green" really the best way to go?”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Yeah, I noticed that as well, that basically going green isn't always cheap.

  2. Jerry Says:

    I actually don't mind paying extra across the board for green utilities, but it seems to me that the companies are unwilling to front anything themselves. They ONLY want their green efforts to be completely funded by consumers with a green-type conscience, which means the implementation has no insurance of being completed in a timely manner. And no, it ain't cheap!
    Jerry

  3. campfrugal Says:

    It is kind of like eating organic. We know we should be doing it, but we just can't afford the prices.

  4. Single Guy Says:

    Eating organic is supposed to really help yourself, as you get no pesticides in your system. Buying green power does almost nothing for yourself, as the benefits go to society as a whole. Now getting solar panels or a home windmill is different, at least there you get the benefit. I'm just not a fan of subsidizing those that don't care. That's why I say it should be mandated for the utilities to use a certain percentage of green power. I know there are some places in the USA where this is already being done, and I would certainly support that here.

    Although when its all said and done, and I have enough stock in the utility that the dividends paid about 60% of my electric bill this past year... I guess I can't complain too loud Big Grin.

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