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What Does “Going Green” Mean?
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Blog...What Does “Going Green” Mean?

What Does “Going Green” Mean?

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In this article, we’ll explain what “going green” means, the benefits, why it can prove difficult, what it means for businesses, and how you or your company can start going green.
Business
2024-04-08T00:00:00.000Z
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In today’s world, almost everyone is aware that going green could play a vital part in helping to reduce climate emissions and transition to a more sustainable global lifestyle overall – but what does going green entail?

Going green is a term used to describe people making a genuine effort to reduce their environmental impact and encourage others around them to do the same, but the nature of our society often makes it difficult for those trying to go green.

In this article, we’ll explain what “going green” means, the benefits, why it can prove difficult, what it means for businesses, and how you or your company can start going green.

What does the term “going green” mean?

The term “going green” refers to the effort for an individual or business to become more aware of their surroundings, how their actions impact the environment, and working to adjust those actions accordingly. 

Going green is usually a decision made over time for most people, as it is difficult to alter all of your daily habits overnight to accommodate more sustainable practices.
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💡Going green is often a slow, gradual process – but the good news is that many small actions can be considered a part of going green and can help to make a difference in protecting our planet and mitigating climate change.

Some examples of going green include:

👉 Generally, any change in behavior made in attempts to reduce the amount of waste or pollution created on you or your company’s behalf can be considered an effort to go green.

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What are the benefits of going green?

There are numerous benefits to going green for both individuals and businesses, such as helping to reduce your carbon footprint, cutting down on waste generation, and even reducing personal or business expenses.

Going green is beneficial for the planet, but it can also help to improve the quality of your own life or open up doors for new business opportunities.

Here are some of the benefits of going green:

  • Reduce Pollution – Going green often means making an effort to avoid taking high polluting means of transportation or engaging in activities that pollute the environment. This could include refraining from taking a road trip with a gasoline powered car until you’ve purchased an electric vehicle. Therefore, going green can have a direct impact on the amount of ozone-depleting substances, greenhouse gasses, and carbon emissions in the air – and help to reduce our air pollution and improve air quality. 
  • Cut Back on Waste – One of the most convenient ways for someone to start going green is for them to avoid purchasing single use plastic or using plastic on their own behalf. This means that going green can help to promote the importance of recycling and reduce the amount of unnecessary waste that usually ends up in landfills.  
  • Conserve Natural Resources – People who subscribe to the notion of going green will often make an effort to shut of lights when not in the room, take shorter showers, and implement the use of renewable energy or energy efficient appliances wherever possible. All of these ventures will help to conserve vital and sparse resources such as water, and also mitigate the use of more harmful resources such as fossil fuels.
  • Protect Vital Wildlife & Ecosystems – Going green doesn’t only help to improve the quality of your own life, but for wildlife as well! This is because many of the protocols associated with going green can help to preserve our valuable ecosystems and the species that live there – such as working to prevent deforestation by avoiding the consumption of products from brands that contribute to destroying forest and agricultural lands. 
  • Save Money – Although going green may seem like an expensive effort at first, but over time – going green can help you to reduce your monthly living expenses. This can include no longer needing to fill up your car with gas as a result of using public transportation, not needing to purchase plastic water bottles since you now use a reusable water bottle, or paying less for your monthly utility bill as you’ve switched to more energy efficient appliances. 
  • Improve Your Health – Going green often means making an effort to change your daily lifestyle, which includes the meals you eat. Many people may choose to start eating less meat and switch their usual go-to meals for more vegetarian and vegan friendly options – many of which will incorporate the use of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are good for your health.

👉 Even though going green may seem overwhelming and challenging at first, the long-term benefits of going green often outweigh the difficulties required to curate a more sustainable life in the first place.

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Why is it difficult to go green?

Going green may seem like an achievable venture on the surface, but the reality is that society makes it exceptionally difficult for any effort in-line with “going green” to prove exceptionally effective – especially as many industries continue to use for things such as single use packaging or excessive consumption. 

Although going green can and should still be practiced amongst the majority of people, many cultures make it difficult for people to practice the values associated with going green – such as the constant societal pressure to update your technology or take a luxurious trip.

Here are a few reasons why going green may not be as easy as it appears:

  • Consumerism Culture – Several industries still pride themselves on the ability to sell more. A prime example of this is the current set up of the music industry, where famous singer Billie Elish recently discussed her aggravation with the need for several artists to sell multiple variations of the same vinyl record. This is because several artists seek to produce more hard copies of their records with various exclusive tracks in order to boost their positions on the billboard charts, but as a result – this makes it difficult for music fans to practice “going green”.
  • Peer Pressure – Even the toughest people eventually fall subject to peer pressure, such as feeling the need to update their phones or travel – both of which can contribute to excess emissions and waste generation. However, even if there isn’t any societal pressure to update your phone or take an unnecessary short-haul flight – some apps may not work if you don’t update your phone, and some places are difficult to travel to without flying. Therefore, much of the world is still set-up to make “going green” less impactful than it could be. 
  • Extra Time & Money – Opting to take the metro instead of driving your car means you need to allot for a longer commuting time. In a similar sense, choosing to switch to the use of a reusable water bottle or washable produce bags means needing to invest in all of those materials upfront. Many people cannot afford the luxury of the time or money often needed for “going green”.

👉As a result, going green is often more difficult than it may seem due to the fact much of the world is not built to accommodate the actions or efforts associated with going green – as people will need to allocate additional time, money, and effort to effectively practice going green.

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What does going green mean for businesses?

Businesses that choose to subscribe to the effort of going green are bound to experience several competitive advantages: such as newfound stakeholder interest, attracting new customers, and boosting brand image. 

It is slowly, and indirectly, becoming compulsory for businesses to “go green” – as new climate legislation and environmental regulations are requiring companies to be more upfront about the environmental impact and annual emissions.

As a result of the newfound desire for customers, stakeholders, investors, and governments wanting businesses to be more transparent about how their business actions impact the environment – going green can help companies stay one-step-ahead of these trending expectations. 

Additional benefits for businesses that commit to going green include:

  • Improved Brand Reputation – Especially amongst Gen Z, a business working on going green is more likely to catch the attention of new consumers!
  • Reduced Operational Costs – Going green often means your business will seek to use renewable energy or energy efficient appliances, which in turn – means mitigating superfluous energy usage and lowering your company’s utility bills. 
  • Comply with Environmental Regulations – New environmental regulations are coming in a full-speed, making it overwhelming for companies to comply – but going green can help your company ensure it adheres to all current and future eoc-friendly protocols. 
  • Increased Consumer & Stakeholder Interest – Many customers and stakeholders alike will be more likely to financially contribute to a company going green. This ultimately gives your company a competitive advantage.
  • Attract New Talent to Your Business – Up to 70% of people prefer to work for sustainable companies, meaning that going green could help to grow your business and attract new employees.
  • New Financial Opportunities – Going green isn’t just good for the planet, but your company’s finances – as governments, organizations, and investors alike will often be open to providing financial aid or other grants to businesses making a tangible effort to go green.

👉 Overall, going green isn’t just about getting rid of a guilt conscious at your company – but it can help your business to be more successful.

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How can you or your company start going green?

There are lots of ways that your company can start going green, such as by offering reusable cups and utensils in the office, implementing energy efficient appliances at home or in the office, and setting up recycling bins.

Going green may seem overwhelming to many, and that’s why it’s best to start small and work your way up to bigger sustainable goals.

You or your company can start going green in your home or at the office by:

  • Conserving water and energy
  • Offsetting your carbon emissions
  • Choosing eco-friendly investments
  • Supporting local sustainable and environmental causes
  • Helping to reduce food waste

At the end of the day, “going green” may be hard to define by many – but it simply means making an effort to reduce your environmental impact in any way you can. 

Luckily, there are many ways to practice “going green” – and if your company is stuck on where to start, Greenly can help!

What About Greenly?

If reading this article about what it means to go green has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

At Greenly we can help you to assess your company’s carbon footprint, and then give you the tools you need to cut down on emissions. We offer a free demo for you to better understand our platform and all that it has to offer – including assistance with boosting supplier engagement, personalised assistance, and new ways to involve your employees.

Click here to learn more about Greenly and how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint.

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