As more Americans become concerned with sustainability issues and eco-friendly habits, the days of eco-fads like reusable shopping bags and refillable water bottles have become everyday lifestyle choices. Here are some predictions for green trends we’ll see in the coming year.
As more Americans become concerned with sustainability issues and eco-friendly habits, the days of eco-fads like reusable shopping bags and refillable water bottles have become everyday lifestyle choices. Here are some predictions for green trends we’ll see in the coming year:
Savvy green consumers. Dating services, dry cleaning, cookware and cat food — all kinds of companies are marketing countless green products. However, consumers have become savvier about deciphering eco-friendly claims. This year, the Federal Trade Commission will revise its guidelines for environmental marketing claims to combat “greenwashing,” or misleading information about environmental benefits of a product or practices of a company. Simple acts, such reading an ingredient list and recognizing overly vague advertising claims, can serve consumers well.
“Eco-superior” products. More households are buying green products, but an eco-friendly dishwashing detergent still has to clean the dishes. Trendwatching.com says 2011 is the year for “eco-superior” products that are better for the environment and better in practice, too.
Urban farming goes mainstream. Municipalities across the U.S. are revising rules for keeping chickens, bees and other animals, as Americans grow more concerned with eating local, unprocessed foods. Keeping a chicken coop in the backyard will become increasingly normal in 2011.
Green data centers. You’ll likely never see the data center that stores your e-mails, health records, Google searches or Facebook information, but these clusters of computers and servers burn large amounts of energy. Some studies estimate the information technology industry alone is responsible for 2 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. Companies are working to create more energy-efficient ways to secure and store our growing body of data, and the Environmental Protection Agency has introduced an Energy Star rating for data centers.
Buying quality built to last. Consumers are learning the pitfalls of a cheap item with a short life. Add to that concerns about chemical off-gassing and huge landfills, and 2011 is likely to be a year when many people embrace vintage china sets, handcrafted furniture and locally knit sweaters. While these products can cost more up front, savvy consumers know the long-term cost of buying cheap.