Or is frugal the new green? It doesn't really matter, but it seems the two terms have almost become interchangeable lately.
Being in the automotive industry, our company has taken some fairly drastic cost reduction measures, at least in terms of large businesses. The company president has told us to bundle up because the heat has been turned down, and personal space heaters have been outlawed. We are starting to utilize the power saving features on our computers and monitors. The lights get shut off when we aren't using them, and much of the time we open the blinds and leave the lights off. Most people in the office don't mind because they understand that it helps the company save money and preserve jobs. But, it has become somewhat of a joke that we are just "going green".
Our company has supported Kaizan and efficiency initiatives for a long time, and much of these efforts have saved our company money while simultaneously reducing our impact on the environment. Years ago we implemented methods for recycling waste heat to warm the building, and replaced the sodium lamps on the shop floor with fluorescent lamps and skylights. But, this recession has made our company even more conscious of expenses and in the process more environmentally conscious.
Not only has our business become more environmentally aware, but many individuals have too. More people are brewing tea and bringing it into the office in reusable containers rather than buying drinks in albeit recyclable cans and bottles. In general it would seem that the use of reusable containers has risen around me. People have also been turning their thermostats down and reducing their fuel consumption. These people don't have to worry about being chided for being cheap because they are being green. It's a great alibi.
So, if anything positive comes out of this recession maybe it will a more solidified green movement in our country.