More businesses are going green
How much has the environmental movement changed South Florida businesses and consumer trends since the first Earth Day 42 years ago?
In 1970: The environmentalist picked up litter at the beach and by the highway. Petitioned Congress to ban DDT in pesticides and lead from gas. Joined the local food co-op to buy organic products.
Today: The environmentalist services the family Prius at a green auto center. Uses an eco-friendly dry cleaner or house-cleaning contractor. Shops the GreenWise aisle at Publix.
Eco-friendly trends have transformed government and corporate policies over the past four decades. And those changes are most evident in the rise of green businesses and a new wave of pocketbook environmentalists who believe that going green makes financial sense.
“I see it every day; more and more people are turning to organics and green products,” says Edward Watson, owner of EJ Organic Lawn Service in Miami. “There’s been a big increase in my business over the past couple years.”
And for good reason, he says. “Using organic products in your yard is better for the environment,” he argues, “but it’s also better for the kids and even the cats and dogs.”
Earth Day on April 22 will highlight the green movement's progress. Green businesses in the United States constitute a $175 billion industry that employs nearly two million workers, according to a report issued last year based on U.S. Census Bureau data. In Florida alone, environmental businesses contribute an estimated $9 billion a year to the economy and employ nearly 200,000 workers.