Since today is Earth Day, we thought we would focus on the growing “green” trend. Sunrise Packaging, like many companies and individuals, has been talking a lot about this ambiguous, yet wildly popular, phenomenon dubbed “green”. Sunpack and others have new “green” products and everyone is asking how they can make small everyday changes to become more “green”. Is this new environmentally-friendly mindset simply the result of high gas prices or is it a permanent societal change?
Experts will give you mixed answers because it is difficult to predict. Threats to our environment are real and it is possible that people are making lifestyle changes that will be permanent. On the other hand, we have seen this kind of trend before, again coinciding with high gas prices. When the prices went down, the environmentally friendly fad passed and Americans went back to driving their gas-guzzlers as much as they ever did.
Back in the 1970’s the prices for oil and gas rose and so did concern for the environment. These concerns lead to the development of Earth Day and government subsidies for alternative energy. By the 1980’s gas prices were down, Ronald Reagan cut the subsidies and concerns for the environment took a nose-dive. Is it possible that we are experiencing the same cycle today?
Biologists and experts can provide endless evidence to attest to the fact that the planet is in trouble. For some, this is enough to convince them that the “green” wave is not just a fad, but rather a lasting change. Others will say that the planet has been in danger for a long time and there are still a lot of people who could not care less because they cannot SEE the damage. They are only changing their ways because of the economy or the gas prices.
Whether they change their ways for the environment or for their wallets, people are changing their everyday choices and actions to reflect a more environmentally friendly stance. Many people are making seemingly permanent lifestyle changes – changing their driving habits, the brands and products that they are loyal to, where they buy their food, etc. Such lifestyle changes, if maintained could indicate that this “green” mentality is not just a fad.
Even if “green” is a fad or a trend, many permanent changes may result from its existence. Interest in the environment faded in the 1980’s but we still recognize and celebrate Earth Day. The changes that will last into the next generations will be those that are implemented in ours. While the notion of “green” may be just a passing trend, it is likely that the government will make political and economical changes that will stick. This will likely come in the form of legislation.
“Going green” is motivating people to help the environment. Many experts believe that this trend will only gain momentum and grow, providing a brilliant opportunity for marketers to connect with their consumers and for consumers to positively affect their environment. Only time will tell if the eco-friendly movement will be a passing fad or a lasting change.