January 6, 2009

Green America: 7 Fixes for the Green Economy

By admin

Green America (was Co-op America) has added 7 recommendations for a new Green Economy. The original link can be found here.

Here’s a quick summary of the 7 fixes:

  1. Green Energy = Green Jobs
  2. Clean Energy ‘Victory Bonds’ (I would buy these!)
  3. Reduce, Reuse, Rethink (hint: consumerism is not the answer)
  4. Go Green, Fair Trade, Local (Use the National Green Pages index – is there a Canadian equivalent? If so, please post it below)
  5. Community Investing (US version – again: a Canadian equivalent anyone?
  6. Shareowner Activism
  7. Building Community

I would argue that there are many, many more:

  1. Massive green investment incentives / massive taxes on carbon-producing activities (part of the ‘rethink’ item above, I suppose.
  2. New investment rules and support for non-profits, co-ops and socially responsible organizations. Those organizations that set themselves apart from ‘the old way’ of doing things should benefit, particularly when people want to support them financially.
  3. Deduction of volunteer activity from income tax returns. People that can only commit time should be compensated for their time. Again, the deduction would be applied to qualifying ‘green’ activities.
  4. A national database of local actions. People across Canada need to see what people are doing in other communities. When they get it right, we showcase their efforts and encourage other municipalities to mimic their success.
  5. A national recycling program. We pay too much to have fragmentation in recycling. Municipalities shouldn’t have to keep ‘reinventing the wheel’ when it comes to good programs that make sense. Also, the federal government should be in the recycling business as buyer of paper, bottles and other recyclables. Letting these commodities fall whim to the market prices is a recipe for disaster.
  6. A clear and obvious organic labelling program, including labelling of any / all GMO products. Canada is failing in this department and we can do a lot better.
  7. Green health = financial benefits. People that take care of themselves from a ‘green’ perspective (eat less meat, exercise, etc) should benefit. People that buy from fast food joints should pay taxes on disposable coffee cups, donuts and drive-thrus.

That’s a starting point. What are some of your recommendations? Do you have some ‘green tips’ that people should follow?

How do we make this happen from a proactivist standpoint? Are there easy things we can do immediately? How do we get started on the tougher things?

Post your comments below, please.