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Why the Green Trade is the World’s Newest Market

The Industrial Revolution started out promisingly enough, using air and water to power production and innovation. As needs grew, however, it was inevitable that industries switched to coal, gas, and other fossil fuels and utilize artificial chemicals thanks to the increased demand for output.

The results were astounding: people produced more and did more for less time. But on a darker note, look at the not unforeseeable toll that it took on the environment: pollution, deforestation, global warming, and species extinction.


Had we been less concerned about green money and more about a green planet, we would have been less entrenched in our need for easy but quickly dwindling energy sources, such as oil. Without a doubt, the world would have been better for it.

The recent oil crisis where the price of oil reached an all-time high of $170 per barrel shook the world by the shoulders and made people aware that not only is the oil running out, but the world is caught in the stranglehold of an almost incurable addiction to fossil fuels. Such an addiction is literally killing the planet, as most greenhouse gases come from the way fossil fuels are consumed.

Along with the fact that as there are now more people who, in turn, need more food, food production (the way it is being done now) produce even more greenhouse gases. There is also the growing need for more land to be habituated by the ever-increasing human population, so the very trees that should have been able to control the rise of these gases are systematically cut down.

It’s getting hot in here!

In a nutshell, these are the facts: the carbon emissions have reached an all-time high of 387 ppm—up from just 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution. The ice caps are melting, and the sea levels are rising at an alarming rate. What was first thought to be a rise of just mere centimeters will actually be as much as seven inches in the next couple of decades.

Then, just as we thought that it couldn’t possibly get any worse, it did, with a financial crisis that left many jobless and a planet that is slowly dying with technology.

Two birds with one stone

How, then, do you deal with two seemingly separate problems at the same time? It’s simple: people need jobs, and the earth needs saving; thus, give people work to save the earth. With this in mind, “green collar” workers in the so-called green trades have started their ascent in the workforce. These are people dedicated to “fixing” the modern world and making it work better, while, at the same time, making it more environment-friendly.

A green collar worker is basically someone who can ensure that the places we are working in and the tasks that we are working on would have the least amount of negative impact on the earth. These workers fix insulation; plug up the drafts; plant trees, as well as avoid killing old ones; build hybrid cars; make renewable fuel for our furnaces; and put up solar panels, dams, and windmills, to name just a few. In a nutshell, green collar workers champion increasing efficiency, while using less of the world’s dwindling resources—maybe even helping to regenerate it.

Who are they?

They are all of us. The whole system needs fixing. Old, drafty buildings that use up 30% more energy can be spiffed up; a new and better way to burn fuel for more power and fewer carbon emissions can always be found, and even a new method of composting, or better ways to produce food can be started. You don’t need to print out triplicates when you can send emails, nor do you need new plastic shopping bags every time you need to pick up groceries.

While the number of laid-off and retrenched workers abound and the real and undeniable need to change the way we use our planet’s natural resources is recognized, it could be a very smart career move—not just for you, but for the entire planet, too. The plus side is this: a green collar worker does not only get paid well; he is also a worker that pays the earth back for the privilege of living on it.

The New Green Trade

There is, without a doubt, a need for green collar workers to work in the green trade, and many have come to heed the call. Still, there are just too many things that need to be done with not enough green-trained workers. The private sector has since begun the Green Revolution. There are companies that will train you to be a green collar worker and then hire you. There are also universities putting in the effort to retrain the workforce.

Indeed, a cleaner, more efficient, and greener world is on the horizon. And the best part is everyone can be a part of it.

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