Green Acting vs. Buying

Jul 30, 2012 by

green treeNewer, green technologies seem always to cost more up front compared to the conventional alternatives. So each of us has to make a judgement, for everything from compact fluorescent light bulbs to hybrid cars: Do the ongoing cost savings (and environmental footprint benefits, if that matters to you) more than offset the higher investment?

Act vs. Buy

Here’s an interesting infographic that takes a look at the buy green question from a bit of a different angle.

Let’s say you resolve to have your cake and eat it too by choosing the cheaper conventional alternative to save the extra upfront cost of the green option but also get the benefits of the green option. How would you have to change your standard behavior when using your old technology to get the same financial and environmental benefits you’d get from an equivalent green technology?

I think I wouldn’t count a ceiling fan as equivalent to central air conditioning, and the light bulb pictured is a compact fluorescent, but the comparison is to an LED. I’m curious to know the comparison for a fluorescent, since LEDs are really expensive. You could certainly encourage guests not to overstay their welcome by enforcing a two-use per flush policy! Still, I think this is a useful and interesting way to consider these and other green options.

What Do You Think?

Does this way of thinking about spending more on green alternatives help you decide whether to go conventional or green? Would you consider selling a still working conventional technology—say a washer—with a green option, or would you wait until the old item needed to be replaced?

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