Eight Green Myths Debunked; Five Green Products to Watch

Yesterday I wrote about Jacquelyn A. Ottman's just-published book, The New Rules of Green Marketing. Ottman also provided some myth-debunking information about green products that I felt merited its own space. She also lists five products to watch in the future:

Myth #1 Green products don't work as well.

Fact: Products such as Method, Tide Coldwater, and Clorox Greenworks brands have been developed specifically to work as well or better than regular products.

Myth #2 Consumers don't want to buy green products.
Fact: Green purchases represented $290 billion in sales in 2008, up from $219 billion in 2005 (Source: NMI, 2009).

Myth #3 Green products are more expensive.
Fact: Thanks to economies of scale due to high volumes, many green products today are competitively priced versus "brown" counterparts; and often can make up for premium pricing many times over during their lifetimes, due to savings on energy and water.

Myth #4 Only specialty stores sell green products.
Fact: Major supermarkets now carry their own brand of organic products (e.g., Safeway's 300- item USDA certified "O Organics" line), and Wal-Mart is quickly making "green" a priority for vendor selection.

Myth #5 Green products aren't really "green".
Fact: No product can be truly "green" since all products use resources and create waste, but products can be "greener," denoting a continuum toward sustainability.

Myth #6 Natural products are more healthful.
Fact: Arsenic is a natural substance, yet deadly.

Myth #7 Plant based products will degrade in landfills.
Fact: No product, even those labeled "compostable," will degrade in a landfill. Compostables will only degrade in industrial composting facilities or in backyard composters at high temperatures.

Myth #8 100% recycled products are better for the environment than 10% recycled products.
Fact: Depending upon how far most recyclables must travel to recycling centers for processing (creating greenhouse gases in the process), products with 10% recycled content could actually be environmentally preferable to more recycled counterparts.

5 Green Products to Watch in 2011-2012

Nissan Leaf Electric Car
Driven in part by clean air/greenhouse gas emissions laws in the states, and the predicted growth of electric charging stations such as GE's new WattStation, expect Nissan's LEAF all-electric car to become to this decade what Toyota Prius (with its combination combustion engine and electric motor) was to the last.

Wattson Energy Monitoring Device
With energy prices on the rise, consumers will be watching their watts more than ever. DIY Kyoto's Wattson is one of many such devices that help to monitor a household's electricity use. When the dishwasher revs up, Wattson glows red. Turn off the AC, and Wattson turns green.

"G" Diapers
Cloth diapers may not have posed a threat to disposable diapers, but G Diapers just might. An innovative two-part construction allows the inner lining to be flushed, and the attractively designed outerpants to be reused over and over; the result: stylish, colorful, practical, and convenient while traveling. With 20 billion disposable diapers dumped in U.S. landfills each year (along with their toxic content), expect Pampers and Huggies to respond with a flushable overhaul of their own.

SmartGrid Appliances

Seizing opportunities to help consumers save money, SmartGrid-enabled appliances can be controlled from afar by the power company who can lower thermostats, switch into energy-saver mode, or shut them down entirely during times of peak demand. Whirlpool predicts it will put one million smart clothes dryers on the market during 2011.

Biobased Products
The USDA launches its new "USDA Certified Biobased Product" label in early 2011, heralding a new era in consumer products and packages. Indeed, with energy independence a growing imperative in the U.S., it may signal the dawn of a new "biobased" economy. Expect Coke to capitalize upon its new recyclable "Plant Bottle" (made of 30% sugar cane), and Frito-Lay to launch a second generation compostable (and less noisy) SunChips package made from corn.

For more information on green marketing, visit Ottman's site: www.greenmarketing.com

And for more stories about ways to make America a better place, please visit: www.americacomesalive.com.