Monday, September 20, 2010

The "Ultimate Green" business?

I must admit that I haven't fully jumped on the "green" bandwagon. I love nature, spent tons of time in the woods, did a lot of camping out, love to fish and hunt, love the mountains and the ocean....I think I can accurately say that I love nature and  Mother Earth.  But sometimes, I am a bit skeptical about all of the new wave of "green" living and "green" products that are sweeping the country.  I can't say I'm a fan of the new light bulb and don't care much for Sheryl Crow's crusade for everyone to only use one piece of toilet paper.... for what? to clean your reading glasses? I don't think that was what she was referring to, but I'll leave that to others to determine.
Another case in point, the new "water saver" washing machines.... ugh.  After two years of a smelly washer, long wash cycles, running cleaning solution through it every week, clothes that were not that sparkling, and a lot of complaining from my lovely wife who does the laundry, I sold our top of the line Samsung steam machines for a $1500 loss on Craig's List and said good riddance!  We replaced it with a good old fashioned Maytag, that does a bang-up job! So what if it uses a little more water? Ain't nobody happy if Mama ain't happy!  Only problem is, I can't find a  machine that folds and puts the clothes up!!!  Do they make a "green" machine that will do that?  That could get me on board for "green"!!  So I tried to be green in that area, but it just didn't work out.
To me, a lot of the "green" bandwagon is just a way for folks to "feel good" about their actions; however, the ends may not justify the means.  I don't know if it's true or not, but case in point is every year on Earth Day, when everyone turns their lights off for an hour.  This sacrificial act seems to give millions of earth lovers an incredible high, knowing that that one hour has helped the earth, saved a lot of energy and made all those folks feel so good about their act of kindness.  There's only one problem:  when everyone turns the power back on after that hour, it uses twice as much power as what was saved!!!! 

Or like ethanol.... when to the best I can determine, by the time corn is planted, watered, sprayed with pesticides, fertilized that runs into rivers, harvested, processed and hauled to market, it costs more to make than it will ever save!!! (But it SOUNDS so good!) Plus, I just heard where in Indonesia, they are producing biofuel from Palm trees. Sounds great, right?  Problem is, how many acres of palms will be destroyed to save a few miles per gallon and reduce the carbon footprint?  Sounds like the ends don't justify the means to me, but what do I know?  I better hush before I get political!

But, there is one "green industry" that's been around for about 300 years and is still going strong.  In my opinion, it's the original "re-cycling business" if you will, and the best "green" business in the world!!!  The antique business!!!! saves energy, saves trees, doesn't pollute, recycles old materials, doesn't require chemical finishes, is extremely functional, has intrinsic value, never goes to a landfill, has no carbon footprint, passes from generation to generation, has asthetic beauty, creates jobs and spurs the economy!
Every time someone buys an antique, they are "going green!"   I think I will contact Al Gore and get him to do a documentary on "green antiques".... it could be called, "A Convenient Truth". I don't think it would even have to be doctored to win an Oscar!!! Sorry, getting political again, better shut up.  (Plus, since he invented the internet, I better not pick on him).

Seriously, the antique business really is a "green" business and was "green before "green" was cool; folks just didn't realize it!  If you think about it, how many products are out there that can be "recycled" for 300 years and look and function as good as they did when they were new? Plus, besides fine wine, (and my lovely wife), how many things get better with age? (She tells me all the time she's getting older, I just tell her it's a beautiful "patina!").  Think of some of the things I mentioned earlier.  Utilizing antiques instead of new furniture, helps save the rain forest. It's amazing the amount of timber that is cleared each year in places like Indonesia, the Phillipines and South America for manufacturing furniture! Plus, think about the fuel it takes to haul timber, power to mill it and ship it. The majority of new furniture has lacquer finishes; what happens to the spent chemicals? Where do the lacquer fumes go? It takes tons of cardboard to pack it and millions of gallons of fuel to ship and truck it.  Plus, it's mostly made in Asia now and the quality sucks!  Sorry, but true!

So, the antique business in my opinion is "the ultimate green business." So if you're following this blog, start doing your part to "go green" and save the earth.... buy antiques! I promise you this is a habit you'll feel good about, will help save the planet and you can  know you're also helping your fellow man. (yes, guys like me!)

P.S.  I forgot to mention the other great aspect of "going green" by buying can also pay with "green". That's my favorite part! Gotta love it!

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