Well, I don't always wait for cost parity to buy the (truly) green alternative, depending to some extent on how badly the non-green alternative is hurting ecosystems and wildlife. The more damaging the non-green product, the more likely I'll pay more for green. Lots of people, although by no means a majority, vote this way with their pocketbooks.
Yes, Ann, I've seen the cost difference come down as well and it has affected my choices. The cost difference on many products has become negligible. When that's the case, I choose the more sustainable product. Also, sometimes -- such as lighting -- the sustainable product is often more economical if you calculate the long run.
Most studies I've seen have shown that US consumers won't pay extra for sustainable, eco-friendly products, but that's apparently been shifting over the last few years: some definitely will, and the cost difference has shrunk.
Thanks for the explanation, Rob. I agree, the US is still catching up with Europe in that regard, but it does seem to be happening. I'd say one definition of "significant traction" is the increase in laws banning single-use plastic bags, which consumers (meaning everyone who buys anything) voted for. Another is definitely not buying/boycotting non-green products, which has certainly happened in the US. Greenwashing or not, more consumers are buying more "green" products.
Ann, what I meant by significant traction is just what you explained, that consumers are making their voices heard when it comes to green products, I know that European consumers have been willing to pay a premium for green products for some time. I also know that US consumers have lagged in this area. Maybe not any longer.
Rob, I don't know how specific the link from a consumer's pocketbook to a company's profits has been in the US. But that's not the only way they make known their demands--another is the voting booth--and everyone in bioplastics has told me consumer demand (meaning from everyone who buys anything) is what drove the changes--not to mention the entire sustainability movement. What do you mean, exactly by "significant traction"?
Hey, Ann, I didn't realize consumers were making their voice heard on bioplastics. Are they voting with their pocketbooks? I knew Europe and Japan had consumer bases that preferred green, but I didn't realize that green had gained significant traction in the U.S.
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.