Why "Going Green" works.

In the late 1980’s I dismantled our environmental reporter beat. That was when I was involved in the operation of several television stations out west. Viewers told us in focus groups they had grown weary of the stories about recycling, saving water, planting zero scape gardens, putting their thermostats up to 78 degrees. The viewer did not see any real payoff in the reports, they just were not interested anymore. Earth Day had worn thin.
Fast forward some thirty years. Going Green is all the rage. It is a movement that TV has jumped on and driven home with some decent success. Do we thank Al Gore, it it because of the cost of gasoline, is it due to power bills rocketing out of sight?
I was a bit skeptical when NBC6 launched the “Going Green” segment fronted by the bright and talented Patricia Andreu. I didn’t say much when we launched the project. I just hoped it wasn’t a passing fad and that Patricia wasn’t stuck with a turkey.
I was wrong and I have figured out why this time around the Eco-Beat, as we used to call it, works.
It is all about money!
You see all these major corporations jumping on the Green band wagon? There is a reason for their sudden hugging of trees and becoming sensitive about conservation, recycling. It is about bottom line. You can really save in the long run and that’s what is powering this reconnect with what we used to call the environmental movement.
It came to me a few months ago when I realized that our summer power bill was almost $75-100 dollars a month lower than the average over the last few years. We were using less power at our house, a 1940’s 3-2 that was never designed for air conditioning.
What had we done? Ok here is a list, some of it occurred by accident and other changes were inspired by going green:

Three years ago the old A/C unit was fried by a electrical surge. A New efficient unit installed.
We updated a number of our windows.
FP&L offered to add additional insulation in our attic. We took ’em on the deal.
Tired of the noisy A/C air handler were bought a new quiet efficient model
We have a new program able thermostat just like Patricia suggested in one of her reports.
We installed a number of those energy saving florescent lights.
The new toilet we bought is water efficient.
The shower heads are water savers.

Sure it is going to take some time to recoup some of the cost with the savings but much of what we changed involved maintenance issues that would have been an expense we would have normally ac rued. But we did go after the most efficient products possible.

It did not take me long to realize that, in contrast with our viewers way back in the late 1980’s there is a pay off for watching our Going Green segments. It makes good financial sense and to quote my old news pal, Tony Marino, “if we show ’em how to make money, they will watch!”

Now if Patricia can tell me how to save on my gas bill, Going Green will be a total success!


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