The world has been rocked this past year by a global pandemic that has taught us so many things about ourselves and how we live our lives. It has changed the landscape of our lives, maybe forever. The conscious choice we make to keep our distance from others is not the only thing that’s entering our consciousness, though.
We are also, now more than ever, acutely aware of the impact we have on our planet. We are making conscious choices to try and minimize our impact in our day-to-day lives, like being incentivized to recycle more products and make a shift away from single-use plastics and toward more renewable sources for things like straws, bags, and more.
It’s not just the little man, though. Huge companies are also making conscious choices. Here are some eco-friendly business trends and opportunities for those who seek to make a difference as a business in 2021.
Organic Food Growth
Organic food seems like it should be an oxymoron. Of course, food is organic, why wouldn’t it be? Unfortunately, this is definitely not always the case. Due to the commodification of food on a mass scale and the mass-consumption model of the everyday person, food has had to be tainted with pesticides, hormones and various other, sometimes harmful products in order to facilitate its expeditious growth in order to meet the needs of the consumer.
One of the business trends fighting back against this consumer-driven need for food in unassailable quantities, is the organic food trend. Organic food popularity has been exploding in the last ten years, as we have become more environmentally conscious about the impact of our food consumption on the planet. Grocery aisles that were once half-full of organic food, now have an entire aisle or two dedicated to just organic food. There are even whole stores dedicated to the sale of organic food.
One of the things that keeps the average Joe or Jill away from buying organic food is the cost. The cost of organic is often two or three times the price of ‘regular’ food. This is changing, however, as the world starts to go back to its roots and organic food becomes more and more popular among the mainstream consumers.
It’s not just the food industry that’s changing its tune. Green fashion, otherwise known as sustainable fashion, is a growing trend among the People as the horrors of sweatshops have been revealed to the masses in recent years. Sustainable fashion seeks to promote an ethical, moral, humane and environmentally conscious approach to the production of clothing. The ‘fair trade’ movement is one such expression of the people’s desire to see sweatshops and made-overseas-by-children-for-less-than-a-dollar disappear altogether and be replaced by a more ethical approach to where we get our clothing.
Environmentally-Sound Shopping: A Moral Good For The Earth
Ever since the average consumer became acutely aware of what or who made what they’re wearing or eating, they’re making better choices about shopping sustainably. And businesses are starting to respond. They recognize that what’s good for the earth can also be good for them and their bottom line, as well as maintain a positive relationship with their customers. It’s why many of the world’s countries have implemented or plan to implement a ban on single-use plastics and businesses are following suit.
It’s better for the earth that we shop sustainably and we, as the consumers are recognizing this and making conscious choices to change the way that we do things and those who supply us are responding in kind.
Electric Vehicles Are Becoming Mainstream
You may have noticed the slow creep of electric vehicles into the petroleum-fueled car market. That’s a good thing for the environment! Electric vehicle sales have soared since Elon Musk and Tesla broke the market wide open. Now, every car manufacturer and their dog is producing electric vehicles. The electrification of our transportation mainframe is yet another reason why there’s a trend towards electric as the way of the future. Small-power engines like those found on golf carts or other small city transportation devices are going electric rather than gas powered.
There are now hundreds of thousands of electric vehicle charging stations in the world and integrating the electric car into the fabric of society is a far easier task due to its nature as a low-impact fuel source.
Battery technology in EVs is improving at an astonishing rate as well. Older (Level 1 and 2) batteries for electric cars required up to 20 hours to charge. Making them hugely impractical for everyday people, who would love to plug their car in overnight and have it charged by the morning. This is now possible, and it’s getting even better, as your car may now charge in as little as five minutes.
All in all, the world is moving away from our bad habits, habits learned during the Industrial Revolution, you might say, and towards a more sustainable, ethical and moral consumption model, with the environment at the forefront of our minds as we attempt a whole-of-society mental shift towards a brighter, greener future for ourselves and our children.