Added: 04.05.2010 19:20
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Climate Change - Normal methods of business should not be used for eco friendly products in Finland.

The brands created for eco products are easily priced to be ridiculously expensive. That should not be the case when the eco boom hits Finland.

The things that are safe for nature are becoming a trend in the US. People like to buy expensive stuff that is produced naturally and is “green” and “eco friendly” and brag about it. The problem is that when people are willing to pay that much more, everything that is eco friendly becomes available only to those who have a lot of money and it’s virtually impossible for the poor to buy anything that isn’t harmful to environment.

It is quite alarming that more and more green products are branded to have a high-end price and the rich people begin to boast about how they preserve nature by driving their hybrids and buying expensive designer eco shirts. For example, actor Mario Van Peebles was lecturing in Finland for a short time a few months ago [1] and all he talked about is how he is making the world better. He also advertised his upcoming TV Series “Mario’s Green House”. He portrayed himself as a saint and told people that they should do exactly as he does in the series – in a multi-million dollar mansion, driving an expensive hybrid, and living with a lot of expensive ways to preserve nature that an ordinary man can only dream of.

When the eco trend hits Finland big time, it should be made so that everything that doesn’t harm the environment would be cheap instead of an "upper class only" thing. Otherwise preserving nature will only have negative associations to blue collar households and middle class people and they won’t do anything about it since they don’t have the money, and when they do in the future when these things might be cheaper, they are so frustrated by the image of the people who try to preserve nature, that they don’t simply want to be one of them.

The normal methods of business should not be used in eco products, because it’s too easy for the manufacturers just to raise the price to ridiculous amounts and make more money. Some action, like giving notable tax reductions to companies that manufacture green products and sell them cheap enough, should be made. This would eventually lead to the green raw materials being cheaper as there will be more of them produced so that the manufacturing costs would not be as high as they are now. The problem is that the tax reductions would have to be huge for companies to start being eco friendly and it could harm Finland’s economy and state a lot if they start losing tax income.

It is really hard to find a solution that would keep the eco products at a reasonable price without harming the companies that manufacture them, but something has to be done before the boom hits Finland if it’s going to make any difference here.

References:

[1] Mario Van Peebles\'s lecture in Oulu 5.2.2010

Research question: What would be the best solution for keeping eco products at reasonable prices?

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Comments

(07 May 2010)
I agree what you are saying about this \"eco hype\" thing. I think that problem here in finland is that if you produce eco friendly products you just can\'t produce them as much as non eco stuff so you have to put larger price tag to get same amount of money from them. I think one solution could be that goverment lower taxes of eco products but i think that could only happen in perfect world not in Finland.
It is true that \"eco\" term has became trendy and highly overpriced. Anything thats even slightly more eco friendly product than the one next to it, even if the difference was meaningless, is advertised as \"eco\" version and the selling price goes percentually up so much. The \"eco and \"green\" producs, though the honest idea behind it is very good, have became tools of cashing the clients. Maybe we need better kind of requirement-system before any product can sell itself under the mark of \"eco/green\"..