Going, going…GREEN!

Kara Kahley is American Rights at Work’s Fall 2010 Socially Responsible Business Intern

No one can deny the environmentally-conscious trend taking hold in the U.S. In addition to the catchy ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ rallying cry, our national vocabulary now includes words like ‘all-natural,’ ‘sustainable,’ and ‘eco-friendly.’ It’s safe to say that for most Americans, green stands for something more than a color.

And for the past half decade or so, not only has our language has gone green, our culture has too. Kermit the Frog is selling hybrid cars, reusable bags have made themselves a fashion category (I never leave home without my canvas “Recycling Rockstar” tote), and we can even make our own green “go green” through responsible investing options.

The opportunity for creating new jobs as a result of this sustaining (pun totally intended) trend is enormous. With unemployment still lingering near ten percent, that’s a really important piece of the puzzle. Luckily, green-collar jobs are gaining ground and are now officially recognized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So what exactly is a green job As the name suggests, a green job is one that directly or indirectly contributes to a positive environmental impact. So anything from engineering a hybrid vehicle to driving a bus as part of a public transit program, which reduces the number of cars on the road, could be classified as a green job.

“[Green jobs] need to be good jobs that meet longstanding demands and goals of the labor movement, i.e., adequate wages, safe working conditions, and worker rights, including the right to organize labor unions.”

In other words, green jobs must provide the employee with enough compensation to support a family, ongoing training, and opportunities for upward mobility. Green collars also mean dollars for consumers who save on transportation and other energy requirements, and for businesses innovating and improving efficiency through partnerships with their skilled union workforce.

American Rights at Work’s 2010 Labor Day List: Partnerships that Work features examples of companies doing just that, like United Streetcar and Eurofresh Farms.

And this weekend, we’ll be taking part in the annual DC Green Festival, October 23-24 at the Convention Center. We will have a booth in the Community Action Corridor, where we will promote our Labor Day List honorees, and continue to advocate for workers’ rights. The Green Festival is a fun event for all ages with engaging speakers, a showcase of the latest environmentally-friendly products, and great food!

If you don’t already have tickets or plans to attend this event, let us send you! Click here to support workers rights’ and green jobs, and we’ll get you a ticket. We look forward to seeing you there!

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 18th, 2010 at 10:24 am and is filed under General, Jobs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Going, going…GREEN!”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AmericanRightsAtWork, GoodJobsGreenJobs. GoodJobsGreenJobs said: A nice overview of the blue-green trend in the US: RT @araw: New blog post: When I say Green, you say Jobs! http://bit.ly/ccx3xm #gjgj2011 […]

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