Green Light Ahead

 

A color splashed all over the spring fashion runways is now not only affecting the way we dress, but also the way we live. “Going Green” is the newest form of living, surpassing even the early 2000s health craze in breadth, and like its predecessor, the act of living environmentally friendly is sure to stick around.

After the devastating effects of the 2004 Asian tsunami and 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, questions regarding the magnitude and severity of these natural disasters sparked national conversation. When former Vice President Al Gore took home a 2006 Oscar for the documentary filmed on the frequently shrugged climate crisis, the dilemma and urgency shone brighter than the Oscar gold.

But what does it mean to go green? Many people are adding green to their diets by eating organic produce. Others follow one of Encarta’s definitions of green: “supporting and promoting the protection of the environment.” This movement has united the population. Corporations are making more products that are either recyclable or made from recyclable materials. The public is being encouraged to carpool or take mass transit to and from work, which can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions emitted into the air.

According to Wal-Mart’s Live Better Index, 57 percent of Americans say they would buy more products that are environmentally friendly if they knew the impact on the environment. By building green homes, people can have healthier indoor environments and lower utility bills. In a time where energy costs are rising, the benefits of choosing environmentally friendly appliances and lighting and practicing water conservation are numerous, and more than hundreds of dollars can be saved. And as individuals start to make their homes green, the environment reaps the benefits as well. Simple changes, such as recycling, reusing and conserving natural resources, slowly help the environment to undergo a climate change.

In Atlanta, both small and big businesses alike are grabbing this green bull by the horns. Eon at Lindbergh is a fresh new development built with EarthCraft, a residential green building program of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. “Through the EarthCraft Home certification process, we are able to say honestly that eon is a better built development because the specifications call for higher grade systems and materials,” says Bailey Pope, vice president of design and construction for The Dawson Co. “We are very happy to be leaders in the push for sustainable cities, and we trust that savvy buyers will see the quality differences and choose eon.” This program allows for lower utility bills for owners and less impact on the Ozone, while creating an opportunity for participants to reduce their carbon footprint, as the location is within walking distance of mass transit and various restaurants and venues.

Another green-friendly Atlanta business is Green Express. Located in Alpharetta, this delivery company is set to change the emissions of commuter-heavy Atlanta by investing its money in electric hybrid cars. Its mission: to be the first delivery company in the United States to move to a hybrid electric courier fleet. The goal is to reduce fuel consumption by 1 million gallons in two years and reduce toxic pollutants by 80 percent, through the use of hybrid vehicles for the courier drivers.

And so the green trend continues. Whether it’s a bamboo shirt, an organic vegetable, an energy-efficient light bulb or a hybrid car, the changes we make can leave a big impact on the planet—for the better.