Is Being Green A Conspiracy or Plain Old Common Sense? Ask Ford!
Recently, a friend of mine told me that “Being green is a conspiracy!” This person is well educated, mind you, so I was shocked at the statement. I thought about it for weeks. How can getting a person to recycle a soda pop can be a conspiracy? With water shortages around the world, how can getting a person to save water be a conspiracy? Having your children eat less chemical filled organic food is a conspiracy? Really?
My friend and I calmly agreed to disagree, but this conversation really made me think and so I did my research. This green conspiracy theory is being talked about all over the internet. From what I can tell the theorists are really up in arms over the bureaucratic and governmental issues which cause $300 hammers to appear in the guise of “green and sustainable” building and planning. Hidden agendas, money-heavy governmental plots, and over spending IS WRONG. It happens in every industry, not just “green and sustainable” industries. This over spending is not a conspiracy – it is just robbery.
My question then becomes – how do we every day people stand up to the bureaucratic $300 hammer machine so we can save money and environmental resources? The only answer is to support the companies and retailers who are choosing to support sustainable ideas because it is the right thing to do. If these companies can get us low cost sustainable products, then it is even better. It also means that we need to practice green living in our own homes and lives because it is simply common sense to save the United States’ natural resources. Of course, done right it can save us money, but it is also the right thing to do – the moral choice – to NOT be wasteful.
I imagine that it is difficult to stand up to the bureaucratic wrong-spenders and anti-green people in the world if you are a corporate executive with a business to run that is being watched under an international microscope. Standing up and saying you have a concern about the country’s resources and where these resources are being wasted is taking a risk in a business world which has always been run with conservative traditional mindsets.
A SUCCESSFUL EXAMPLE
While attending Ford Motor Company’s #GoFurther Conference I listened to David Kirkpatrick interview Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford (left in the photo). The interview was not what I expected; Ford spoke of the struggles he had as he moved up the ladder at Ford. How all the other good old boys were not fond of his sustainable ideas and green initiatives. They laughed at him, disagreed with him, and fought him vehemently. Bill Ford had to fight to have his belief listened to by industry executives — that the United States was wasting environmental resources and corporations like Ford could and should be doing their part to help change those processes because it is the right thing to do.
Bill stuck by his belief and eventually convinced the rest of the executives that going green is more than a myth, it is a corporate responsibility. Ford has an amazing Sustainability Initiative. They are designing for “lifecycle sustainability”, which means they use recycled products to build their cars and the cars are also recyclable. Most of Ford’s vehicles are over 80% recyclable. Ford has moved forward with a strong line of electrified vehicles and more.
USE COMMON SENSE
Like Bill Ford, I feel that GOING GREEN IS COMMON SENSE, not a conspiracy. Saving America’s natural resources is not another pie-in-the-sky idea, but is something big corporations and taxpayers should be doing together in tandem every day. You do not have to be an extremist. Starting simply with basic things like saving water, recycling your cans, and finding creative ways to stop wasting is smart. By saving resources you also SAVE YOURSELF MONEY. Reducing your spending by reducing, reusing, and recycling is smart economics for American homeowners.
Leave a comment below and answer this question: How are you saving money by going green?
*Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am noting that the Ford Motor Company sponsored this event and related travel. I was not told what or how to document the event, I was simply invited to attend – anything expressed in posts related to the activities is my own opinion from my own personal experience.
I will say that the green movement has been hijacked and used to market expensive and somehow useless products. I refuse to pay twice as much for a pair of pants with a fancy ‘sustainable’ tag when I can just get the most out of my existing clothes. I don’t have a lot of money to mess around with, so I believe that being ‘green’ starts with me. I make things last as long as I can, and plastic products don’t last too long so I avoid them. Common sense. When I lived in Germany as a kid, everybody lived a ‘green’ lifestyle not because of a liberal agenda, but because they learned to make do with what they had over the years. Germany has had a long history of using up their resources but they conserved out of necessity to rebuild the country. I would imagine that other ‘green’ European countries had similar reasons.
It is only a consperacy if it is made political. I do my part because I want to not because I have to. The legeslation needs to stay out of this other than education. You will get alot more particapation with education rather than legislation.
Just a short Dutch view on Green; Everyone talks about electrical cars to be green, i never see writing about the cost to fill the battery, they only talk about the time of driving on the battery. If we all would spend less on cheap things and “think before buying” the world would be much greener already. And when we need to buy, go for the best quality that last longer. Too much product are made cheap, not because of the consumers but the retailers think it has to be cheap. Invest in quality products is investing in a greener world. By the way my whole family drives “old” USA cars as a point of nice driving and recycling the cars. A bit more on fuel, less on battery recycling which will become a major problem in the future. The steel of heavy duty old cars can be recycled for 100 percent, the battery of an electrical cars is one of the most environment killers we make.
My mother and her twin sister were born in 1929, so grew up through the Great Depression and World War II. They grew up living by the motto “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without.” And that’s the way they lived all their lives. I still remember seeing my mother giving the old sofa a complete makeover (three times) whenever she wanted a new couch, and “darning” her panty hose while everyone else just replaced them whenever a hole appeared. My aunt and I reused a mailing envelope with her hand-drawn recycling symbol on it over and over, adding new tape and decorative patches to make it mail-worthy again and again. It made the trip between Tucson and Dallas so many times I lost count, but it was always a thrill to see it appear again in the mailbox and see what had been added!
It’s a frugal way of life that we all would do well to remember and practice. I hope it is enough to remember the lessons learned by those who endured hard times – and that we do not need to experience those hardships firsthand as my elders did – to teach us the importance of conservation.
Steve. Very good point – why spend extraneous money when it’s not needed. Our grandparents used to get by with so much less than we feel we have to, right? Saving resources also saves money.
Agreed. More education is definitely needed.
Thanks for your thoughts Sietse. Reusing is so very important, although the old cars still have carbon emissions that are very high. However, recycling them is an excellent idea.
Exactly. Our grandparents learned the right way I think. I hope I can teach my children to live so well. Someone once asked me what I would do if I won a million dollars, and besides paying for my kids college and making sure we had retirement money I couldn’t think of anything major I’d want. I don’t need a giant McMansion. Our smaller home will work just fine.
And my grandmother used to redo her couch too. Common sense ideas I think.
Most of my lectures are about “Grandparent” gardening. I learned from them as my kids learned from me. My best quote about the commercialism of gardening is ” I’ve never seen Mother Nature shopping at a box store”. I have more to say on the subject, but I’m already in trouble with the big bag vendors!!!
I would argue it is a little of both. Pay attention to the price of gas. It has already started to spike due to the rise of corn prices. In the US ethanol is made from corn. Corn prices are skyrocketing because of the drought in the Midwest. It is a Federal requirement for gasoline to include 10% ethanol.
The unintended consequence of a ‘Green’ idea will be higher prices at the pump. The ethanol requirement has already caused an increase in food prices because grain that would have been used for animal feed has been diverted to the distillery.
Much of what we can do in our homes and backyards to conserve and recycle are plain old common sense as you have said. Does anyone really think that when our elected officials and bureaucrats get involved thinks will get better?
Understood Kevin. Understood.
Good questions. I wish I had all the answers. 🙂
Yeah, it’s funny, because for 11 1/2 years, I’ve been the Garden Specialist for the Orange Box. The media compiled with “Vendor” say-so, is so degrading to my following of customers. I get so many folks that I have been waitng on for years, come see me because of the weather trends we experience here in Richmond. I get them results, mostly because of my upbringing, and my following the weather trends here. I know whats coming. The biggest problem is the media, and the almighty $$, because for every action they confuse the consumer with, they have another $$ action to “correct” the gardeners mistake, adding more crap to the already failing environment, then they fail, and ultimately, give up.. But not my people. I work a set schedule there, and I can’t hardly move due to the people around me. But, you would think that I cut the corporations throat because I didn’t sell what’s in the ad for the week… But I get more return customers than anyone in my 13 store district, and THAT, is honest revenue.
On the otherhand, my Garden Consierge business i have, high demand, not from my every week customers, but from new, “implant” folks moving here from other zones…. We always have fun, we always get results, because I always tell them to change the channel, when they see any gardening ad.
OH!! and I also refer them to your website too, even though you are in Chigago area, the principles, are the same. Know your zone, location, lighting, soil, native plants, fun and tolerance levels, etc. HA!!!
Thank you so much for referring them to my site – I’ll keep the sustainable stories coming! 🙂
Please keep telling people healthy answers to all those questions – having them make healthy gardening choices is good for everyone!
Thank you for sharing this important issue, the hijacking of the sustainability ethic. I recently became aware of the “blue-green” movement, with a video which represents solar/alternative energy as evil and organic food having a high carbon footprint because of its transportation costs… I just didn’t know how to deal with that! The organic food I’m familiar with is grown within 100 miles of sale or closer, and the solar and wind energy I’m familiar with is installed by regional technicians and provides dependable and affordable and CONSISTENT power to users. Thank you, Shawna, for having this discussion on your site and a way to address the hype that is diluting the true green ethic of common sense!
You’re welcome. I simply do not understand the mindset that you’re describing here. It seems to lack common sense.
Would you prefer feeding your kids chemicals or not? The question seems pretty clear to me and so does the answer.
Goodness, this subject really hits a nerve for me Shawna. I’ve never understood how or why we have politicized the environment. Recycling certainly has a part to play for consumers but the large corporations have the ability to make an even bigger impact. Ford, for example, is really in a groove with the recent introduction of their plug-in electric car the C-Max (Made in Michigan too!).
For the record, I don’t like environmentalists – just the environment.
Thanks David. I understand what you’re saying.
The good thing about the politicizing of enviroment is that it had enough VALUE to be highjacked. It’s worth talking about and dangling out there as another capitalist angler fish lure for consumers. An important point made here is common sense. Not only does the Green Movement just make sense, but you have to USE common sense. Recognize the lure, don’t get suckered.
Living green only makes sense. No ” liberal agenda here”. We were blessed with finite resources and an ever growing drain on them. I was very surprised to see the Ford interview. Unfortunately the good old boy view of more profit,profit,profit, is fair too common in the business world. They must get on board. It just makes sense. I was always dead set against ford motors for various reasons but may now consider doing a little investing into them.