The other posts in this series can be found here. The first one with an explanation of what this is about is here.
Celine Ruben-Salama, New York City, USA
Here in the States, 'Green is the New Black' became everyone's favorite saying in 2006 –everyone except for Kermit the Frog. He changed his adage to "I guess it is easy being green" in the Ford Escape Hybrid ad campaign. During the past year, sustainability was the talk of the town. Everyone from Martha Stewart to Jon Stewart to Oprah to Rush Limbaugh was talking about it. And everyone from Fortune to Vanity Fair to Metro to Yours Truly was writing about it. Hollywood flaunted their green rides and cycling abilities. Collectively Americans consumed 42% of the global organic food supply. Green has gone mainstream. There is no going back.Mainstream means money, so keep an eye on big business. If recent developments in architecture are any indication of the future, so-called eco-friendly design will soon become the norm. Although markets respond swiftly to change, the shift from a focus on quarterly earnings towards a more long-term, sustainable view will take time. Along with earnest efforts, we'll see both mistakes and outright greenwashing. As businesses understand and implement sustainable measures we can expect them to keep us posted via ad campaigns, corporate blogs and other PR efforts. The public will play an important part as socially-maintained networks, the blogsphere and other technologies continue to develop.
On the consumer side, ordinary Americans will continue to change their consumption habits for the better as awareness rises and eco-solutions become more accessible. Those who saw "An Inconvenient Truth" will have a hard time suppressing concerns amidst unseasonably warm weather – particularly as they ponder their children's future. Ready to take action, closet greenies will continue to emerge. If the past year has shown us anything, they won't always be who we would expect.
Whether their eco-motives stemmed from money love, earth love, a nationalistic yearning for energy independence or the word of God, an unhappy confluence of events brought an unlikely cast of eco-champions to the fore in 2006. These included wild cards such as Al Gore, Christian Evangelicals, Daryl Hannah, Majora Carter, Vinod Khosla and the Venture Capital Community, Wal-Mart and Wired Magazine. Expect more surprises in the year to come!
I'm looking forward to exciting progress in 2007. Remember to do your part!