Are “Green” Products Really Green?

Posted on February 12, 2010

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Earlier today I was browsing around on Facebook when a post from Dell caught my eye. They were advertising their new line of “green” printer cartridges, saying that they have a reduced carbon footprint as well as a reduced price. In the comments section I was amazed on how quickly and easily people fell for it. Most of them didn’t even question the move. Until one post caught my eye; asking the simple question of “Is it made locally?”.

Obviously many people support their country, seeing products being made in your home country always brings a sense of pride to ones self, but in this case it actually has more to do with just patriotism. 

As I pointed out in the comments section of that particular Dell post, if you are going to make your product “green” you should manufacture that particular product locally, otherwise it’s not really that green.

Think of what happens if you manufacture something in–say–China. Sure, maybe the process of making it has a relatively low carbon footprint, and maybe when you use the product itself it has a reduced carbon footprint, but what about in between? While the product makes its ways from the foreign country it was produced in to North America, it usually goes by boat. Think about the carbon footprint of that boat; what it was produced with, how much fuel it uses, etc. All these things inadvertently contribute to the carbon footprint of the product being shipped.

However, if a product is manufacturered locally, you don’t need to worry as much about how it got from the factory to your door. Even though you still need to transport the goods around the country, manufacturing products locally is a good way to start truly being “green”.

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Posted in: Business, Green Tech