SpiroFlo analyzes the terms that make up the environmental world—the cliché, the misunderstood, and the “don’t tell your mama” variety—and how they play in today’s society. With companies using “green” as an automatic product selling point, how does the buzzword hold up?
Did you know you can power a lamp (to a dull glow) off a potato? You can even use a tomato, though during a jury-rigged power surge, I think I’d rather have French fries than ketchup splatter all over the room. I’m sure you can make a rug out of dried fruit, too, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be on sale at IKEA any time soon, because when it comes to making an economical decision, the green option doesn’t even rank in the top options for most businesses (and frankly, most consumers). Throw in the cost, quality and morality of a product (among other factors) and green options can often feel more like a compromise than a top choice.
A friend of mine felt compelled to eat only free range meat, but with the high cost of eating healthy, he compromised his values and budget into becoming a vegetarian. Upon moving to the Sudan to open an orphanage, his diet took a back seat to the reality of eating what was available. (While diet choices aren’t exactly a green philosophy, there are correlations between the two.)
With this in mind, I think it’s time to admit that simply because a technology is green doesn’t mean it’s inherently good (or even good enough), because being green alone isn’t enough.
I know the guy who regularly touts his not so socially acceptable green product(s), much to the chagrin of most people. He drives a truck that runs on grease that he gets free from restaurants. While he’s not increasing foreign oil dependency, you can still hear and smell his truck coming from a couple of blocks away. His vehicle is green (sorta), but for most people, that’s not enough, for the same reason the other characteristics of a product also usually aren’t enough on their own: Most decisions are not made off one factor. We absorb all the aspects — the pros, cons and limitations — and usually decide based on what’s feasible, not just what’s desired. Then again, we all know people going into debt over stuff they can’t afford (usually shopping sprees, expensive homes and cars, etc.), but I’ve yet to meet a person who got into financial trouble because they cared about the environment too much.
With all the trend-of-the-week gimmick cars, it seems like you can run a vehicle on just about anything—wine, algae, coffee—whether it runs efficiently or not. (I’m waiting for the day when I watch someone fuel their morning commute and their caffeine kick from the same tank.) Not all the cars that run on alternative fuels are held together by duct tape and the budget-crunched hope of a better tomorrow either. Some are actually quite sporty, but with the high-price tag on these options (see electric cars), it doesn’t yet feel like there’s a middle ground that works for mainstream society on many green products. As a result, thus far, most green niches have been held back by their large limitations. If that’s the case, saying something is green isn’t quite the trump card companies are pretending it is.
Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:
-SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with a 3.5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).
-Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).
-Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.)