Here's the thing, though: the more I research green technologies, the more I'm seeing that many of them actually save companies money in addition to saving resources. Ingenuity and a greater focus on sustainable practices have produced a whole slew of products and processes that are good for both the planet and the bottom line, but we seem to be falling short on actually promoting them. We have to get the word out, so that when it comes time to discuss new, greener ideas, the "it costs too much" argument will be mostly moot.
Right here at our very own UW-Madison, a man by the name of Marjid Sarmadi has developed a more sustainable way to make carpeting. I'll be honest; it's not something I'd ever thought of before. Apparently, however, making one square yard of carpet requires 50 gallons of water, significant amounts of energy and harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. Plus, it's the number one textile found in landfills.
However, Sarmadi has hit on a way to make carpeting that is 100% recyclable, doesn't use some of the more harmful chemicals, and actually costs less:
...the most surprising part of the project has been that the final project not only saves water and energy, but lasts longer and costs much less. Sarmadi’s carpeting standards have a 30–year warranty, as opposed to the typical 10— to 15–year warranty, and have saved the LACCD the equivalent of $40 million.And there are stories like this one cropping up all over the place. Plus, green technologies create green jobs (y'know, that thing the presidential candidates have been gabbing on and on about). The renewable energy industry, for instance, has been seeing substantial growth, even in the midst of the current economic downturn.
Again, the main ingredient for seeing more successes like this one is will power: willingness to research and try new things, willingness to properly fund the efforts, willingness to place more emphasis on long-term benefits than short.
We've got opposable thumbs and big, squishy brains, and we've proved that we can make just about anything happen if we put our minds to it. In this case, it's both good stewardship and good business.
(h/t Isthmus Daily Page and TreeHugger)