written by: Finn Orfano•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 10/12/2010
You’ve heard of blue and white collar jobs, but how about green collar jobs? Here we discuss what is a green collar job? And how you can help the environment by being in such employment.
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Green is the New Blue
The term “green collar jobs" has been thrown around by politicians, but what exactly does it mean? A green collar job involves manual labor in a business that promotes and manufacturers a product or service that benefits the environment. You could say that a green collar job is basically an eco-friendly blue collar job.
Green collar jobs can be found in nonprofit organizations, small and large for-profit corporations and the public service industry. Is it your job to manufacture solar panels? If yes, then you have a green collar job. Green collar industries deal with recycling, organic fabrics, renewable energy (for example, solar panels or wind turbines), alternative transportation (bicycles, hybrid technology and public transportation), urban agriculture, green waste (large-scale composting), renewable materials (bamboo, recycled wood) and the production of bio-diesel.
As you can see, there are a wide range of jobs that can be considered green collar.
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Improving People’s Lives and the Environment at the Same Time
Green collar jobs don’t only work to lessen humans’ environmental impacts, they also directly improve the lives of workers. Besides giving workers a job they can be proud of, these eco-friendly careers pay decent wages and allow for upward mobility.
In short, these are good jobs. Like their blue collar counterparts, green collar jobs don’t require much experience beyond a high school education, which makes them accessible and viable career opportunities for low income individuals. These jobs can be a ticket out of poverty and since they represent the future’s new technologies, they won’t be disappearing any time soon. Their future is bright and green.
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An Economic Shift
Green collar jobs are on the rise. Many blue collar jobs, like car manufacturing and the steel industry, must ride the wave of the future and embrace green technologies. Just look at the increasing number of hybrid cars on the market and how much steel is being made into wind turbines. Government money has been earmarked for the creation of these types of jobs so expect to see more on the horizon.
Green collar jobs are also a way to fight back against outsourcing. Most of these jobs are local because it just isn’t cost-effective or practical to outsource the installation of solar panels or the manufacturing of heavy components for wind turbines.
Quality wages and upward mobility coupled with local job creation and a career based on saving the environment adds up to a really good thing. Bring on the green collar revolution.