Green and Eco-friendly Trends: Reflecting on 2019

Submitted by Mary Meade on December 16, 2019
Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

By Guest Blogger: Kurt Whitt, Green Business Network Member and Founder/Chief Visionary Architect of EcoPlanetMedia

As an earth-friendly creative agency, Eco Planet Media gets a firsthand look at the green trends occurring across business sectors. Concern about the environment continues unabated, but researchers and everyday citizens of the earth are waking up to new ideas and technologies to counter the growing problems with climate change and pollution. In 2019, these eco trends hit the front page of environmental consciousness and green living.

Youth Climate Change Movement - Youth Climate Activists Ramp Up the Pressure

From school strikes to the global stage, young climate activists are making their voices heard and are increasingly politically engaged. You can't browse social media without seeing the name Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist whose campaigning has gained international recognition. Businesses are responding by including younger generations in the conversation, ranging from messaging and marketing to product development and sponsoring young brilliant minds to come up with innovative technological or political solutions. 

An End to Plastic? Alternate Materials

As off-shore recycling takes a hit, companies looking for alternatives to plastic have a greater impetus to find a solution. Biodegradable packaging and products are the response to the tons of plastic dumped into the ocean every year. Companies are creating alternate materials from waste products like grape skins, natural polyesters, corn starches, and even fungi. Industries are restructuring their messaging to get consumers on board with these alternate materials and play a key role in educating the public on what is possible.

Renewable and Alternative Energy

Countries across the globe are going green with alternative energy. With more affordable options in solar and wind energy production, people are taking control of their own systems and local microgrids are gaining popularity. These pioneers in energy industries are up against monopolies and entrenched systems; they must have solid social media influence and powerful marketing to gain and maintain momentum that will change the energy marketplace in a meaningful way.

Minimalism and Anti-Consumerism Mindset

Excessive consumption leads to larger houses, latest model cars, trendier clothes, unnecessary new smartphone technology, and overfilled drawers. People are turning away from over-consumerism and toward a simpler and more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Buying less, living in smaller homes, and generating less waste become the consumer’s goals. This expands into the desire for less packaging and support for companies that waste less. Companies and businesses are driving attention to these practices in an effort to raise awareness among consumers through smart marketing campaigns and meaningful and transparent business practices.

Smart Buildings and Construction

Smart homes and the Internet of Things continue to grow in popularity. Green construction materials and increased efficiency in HVAC and other systems means cleaner indoor air and less post-construction waste. To counter the ecological effect of increases in new electronics prevalent in smart homes, more construction companies and technology developers turn to ecologically sound building techniques, including developing new materials with fewer potential pollutants. This deviation from ‘business as usual’ requires educating the public about these eco-friendly innovative practices through strong marketing and social awareness.

Eco-Tourism and Low-Impact Travel

Besides vacationing in environmentally interesting areas, more travelers in 2019 took into account what impact their visits have on the local ecology. A recent survey found that 86% of respondents would adopt green protocols or even volunteer for eco-friendly activities while on vacation. Businesses in the tourist industry are increasing awareness amongst travelers through eco-friendly advertising and partnering with local environmental efforts to create such opportunities. 

Electric and Self-Driving Vehicles

Driverless cars consume less fuel, wear out more slowly, and decrease overall pollution. Combine them with electric or alternative fuel vehicles, and you have a great eco-friendly trend for 2019 and beyond. Businesses in this industry face the obstacle of educating a potentially reluctant public through strategic campaigns showcasing the benefits of turning over the wheel to a computer in order to save the planet. 

Organic Foods - The Certified Organic Label

Consumers are aware that organically raised produce or livestock have not been touched by growth hormones nor have they been genetically altered. The yield for the organic grower is much smaller than that of growers using conventional techniques, resulting in higher prices. But for many consumers, the expense is worth it. Brands are driving social awareness of the real health effects of conventional agricultural practices on our personal and collective ecosystems through powerful advertising and positioning

Buying Green

To sustain our natural resources, we need to consume less by thinking about what we buy and how we use the products we buy. The less consumers consume, the smaller their footprint. So, what is a green product? Simply, it is a product that has very little, if any, negative effect on the environment. Consumers can identify green products easily by the labels. And more and more green products are showing up on store shelves. Currently, it is these businesses that are responsible for bringing awareness of consumerism and footprints by changing the language consumers identify with when making purchases.

Buying Local

Produce at the local grocery store is sourced from all over the world; it has been picked unripe and has been sitting in trucks and ships for many days or weeks, and it’s impossible to ascertain if they’ve been grown in a healthy, sustainable environment. When we buy locally, we can be certain our food is fresh and lessens the carbon footprint of transportation and storage costs. Local producers require targeted marketing to make their presence known in their communities, by closely identifying with their specific populations and providing solutions to problems their neighbors have. 

Businesses and corporations are learning that globalization includes fair arrangements with their trading partners. Fair Trade Certified labels are becoming more visible. It is up to true, eco-friendly brands to think about every aspect of their business, including who they partner with to handle their marketing. The weight of informing the public of eco-friendly alternatives to traditional business practices rests on these pioneers. 

At Eco Planet Media, we do our part to ensure consumers know how these businesses are changing the world. We help innovative companies achieve their online potential through branding, website design, ecommerce and digital marketing. As partners with Green America, we donate a percentage of every client project to One Tree Planted towards reforestation projects around the world. 

Ultimately, if consumers make well-considered choices in their purchases, we will have a healthier, happier world. 

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