The Eco-Friendly Debate Debunked

Guest Author: Jackie Quinlan

Eco Friendly, logo, environment, greenElon Musk’s numerous companies have contributed greatly to technology and innovation. Say what you will, his goals are ambitious. Space X, the Boring company, launching a Tesla into space. His plans are grand and they indicate a further need to innovate and change the ways things are currently done. Waste less. Be more eco-friendly.

There is something to be said, however, for being for too much. When it comes to issues like being eco-friendly and innovation, there is the ultimately PC/world friendly indication that everybody needs to do their best to contribute to the rest of the world for a better future.

But is it too much? Has the eco-friendly trend gotten out of hand such that the word means less than the actual impact? Has the eco-friendly trend gotten out of hand such that the word means less than the actual impact?

Finding the Eco in Friendly

Plastic has been on everybody’s mind lately and probably literally in everybody’s mind or body to say the least. Human consumption of plastics has a brought about a devastating impact to the environment, causing oceans of trash and miles and miles of problems science doesn’t even fully understand yet.

Indeed, according to the Royal Static Society, this year’s winning stat is that 90.5% of all plastic is not recycled. One way of approaching this problem has been by using this blanket term “eco-friendly.” It’s a nice term. It almost negates the idea that there exists something eco-non-friendly, eco-bad-friendly, eco-enemy etc. It alludes to an idea there is more to be done.

wind farm, alternative energy, eco friendly, environment, Jackie Writing

What is dangerous about using such terms as eco-friendly, Non-GMO, organic etc., is that the use becomes supplemental for an overall solution for branding. What does it mean to be eco-friendly? It sounds nice, but it does not delineate the terms. How will it be eco-friendly; how will it be Non-GMO? It’s a marketing gimmick to assuage the consumer soul.

Of course, with marketing, comes the idea that it is good, and everything is better because the label says so. Regulations, however, particularly in the United States, are not part of branding. In other words, it’s a farce. Eco-friendly means just about as much to the environment as ‘take off your shoes’ at the pool.

What Comes Next

Despite the vagueness, the term eco-friendly does have some merit. You can definitely choose to make less of an impact on the environment through consumption or lack thereof.

energy efficient household, green technologyOne of the first things you can do is to look at your household.

  • Do you have LED lights and energy efficient heating?
  • Do your really need all that fridge space?
  • Can you buy locally and in season?
  • Have you considered installing solar panels?

All these little steps starting with the home will indeed make a difference, whether it’s called eco-friendly or home improvement.

Just remember, while Elon Musk is trying to find another planet to live on, to continue living here, everybody needs to do their part in lessening waste and promoting better environmental practices. It starts with the little things and, if everyone does it, a real change is possible.

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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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