The Downside of Going Green
You’ve probably heard people talk about going green as of late. It has become quite the fashionable phrase to throw out during newscasts, parties, and presidential campaign speeches. If you want to appear progressive, trendy, or world-wise, you talk a lot about going green. Companies who want to shed the typical capitalistic, earth-pillaging corporate image are jumping on the green bandwagon.
For the uninitiated, ‘going green’ refers to reducing or eliminating your use of non-eco-friendly materials. That means petroleum-based products, especially plastics and harmful chemicals, are out. Recycled or organic products are in. Fueled by rising fears of global warming, going green represents an important shift in thinking toward being more responsible in the way we use our resources.
Going green, however, also means that things will change. Some of the comforts we are used to may fall by the wayside. Even at the workplace, employees will be feeling a dramatic difference. If your company is going green, here are some of the disadvantages to look forward to (and just remember: it’s worth it!):
1. Recycled toilet paper – One word: ouch! Recycled paper will never be as refined and soft as regular paper. Unfortunately, this goes for toilet paper, too. Employees at green companies are in for a rough ride when they visit the restroom.
2. Organic cafeteria – For those who like their steaks thick, juicy, and as enhanced as possible, the company cafeteria is about to become a bit less appealing. Use of growth hormones and other food-enhancing chemicals is becoming an endangered practice, viewed as bad for people and bad for the environment. Start bringing your lunch or get used to tofu.
3. Rain-water cooler – The blue bottle/central gathering place may soon be replaced by a faucet from a tank that collects rainwater. The rainwater is filtered, of course, but that familiar sterilized taste will likely be gone. The thought of drinking rainwater may be unsettling to some, especially if you live in an area known for air pollution. Just gulp down the bugs and the taste of exhaust with a smile, knowing you are doing your part to save the planet.
4. Bamboo office chairs – Most of today’s well-supported, well-cushioned office chairs are composed of plastics and other synthetic materials. Look for companies to ditch those for more plant-based materials. Bamboo is popular but not very friendly to backsides. You might have grounds to get your boss to provide an on-site chiropractor.
5. Biodegradable food containers – Plastics tend to overstay their welcome in the environment, hanging around for several millennia. To remedy this, companies are providing food containers made from sugar cane waste in their cafeterias and break rooms. The problem: these containers break down (within 90 days) considerably faster than their plastic counterparts. The result: don’t be surprised if your leftovers from the company Christmas party suddenly collapse into a pile of mush.
Which green changes are you dreading? Which ones are you looking forward to? Tell us about it below…