Green Collar Work

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 10:17 PM

Worldwide the movement toward green has been the primary focus for everyone. People are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, companies are promoting their green products, and now even the job market cannot escape the green. But this is not ordinary run of the mill green; this is a way to help those in need in hard times, while making an environmentally impact as well. The Green-Collar Jobs Campaign (http://www.ellabakercenter.org/page.php?pageid=5) is dedicated to the green wave. As stated on their website, Green-Collar Jobs Campaign creates opportunities in the green economy for low-income people and people of color. Instead of the typical company looking to make a profit from the green, an organization is reaching out to make a difference in the world, and they are doing so on multiple levels. The concept that the Green Collar Job Campaign is using can easily be applied to many other not for profit organizations. An organization that is already committed to societal change would be able to implement programs to cause more friendly impact on the environment.
This example is a further illustration that the greenwashing has spread to all realms of the business world. However, it can be seen that as long as we as people look through the greenwash and question what is going on, there is the hope that we as a society can make healthy changes without moving to the fundamentalist mindset of GREEN. While continuing my search of green jobs I found another article from an organization that is about environmental justice. It brings to light green collar jobs. We are used to the traditional labels of blue and white collar jobs. The movement truly has enveloped all parts of business. Green collar jobs are everything that relates to the benefit of the environment. This label is being placed on anything and everything wherever possible. Until we are able to get away from this overwhelming urge to be green and contribute to the greenwashing, we will not be able to make a measureable difference; only one that has the label green.

Green Collar Jobs:
* Bicycle repair and bike delivery services
* Car and truck mechanic jobs, production jobs, and gas-station jobs related to biodiesel
* Energy retrofits to increase energy efficiency and conservation
* Green building
* Green waste composting on a large scale
* Hauling and reuse of construction materials and debris (C&D)
* Hazardous materials clean-up
* Landscaping
* Manufacturing jobs related to large scale production of appropriate technologies (i.e. solar panels, bike cargo systems, green waste bins, etc.)
* Materials reuse
* Non-toxic household cleaning in residential and commercial buildings
* Parks and open space expansion and maintenance
* Printing with non-toxic inks and dyes
* Public transit jobs related to driving, maintenance, and repair
* Recycling and reuse
* Small businesses producing products from recycled materials
* Solar installation
* Tree cutting and pruning
* Peri-urban and urban agriculture
* Water retrofits to increase water efficiency and conservation
* Whole home performance, including attic insulation, weatherization, etc.

Other Green Job Sites
http://www.greenforall.org/?gfa_splash=1
http://www.urbanhabitat.org/node/528

-Josh R

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http://sites.google.com/site/ecomerge2008/

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