Trendwatching writes about the eco-iconic wave of marketing. It provides one of the best reasons why Prius and products like that have an edge over other green products.

When applying this ever-wider embrace to green products and services, the shift looks somewhat like this: we’ve gone from ECO-UGLY (ugly, over-priced, low-performance, unsavory yet eco-friendly versions of the ‘real thing’) to ECO-CHIC (eco-friendly stuff that actually looks as nice and cool as the less sustainable originals) to now ECO-ICONIC:
Well, just take a look around: a surprisingly high number of green products and services, imagined and designed in a distant past when green was seen as a compromise, still try to hide their sustainable superiority by looking as much like ‘normal’, ‘non-green’ products as possible.
Now translate the above to the eco-sphere. To create eco-icons, creating a eco-friendly version of an existing product and sticking a ‘hybrid’ or green label on it may work in some cases, but will most likely prove problematic, as it will either be (literally) invisible, or will still be associated with the polluting version. The Volkswagen Golf Hybrid—more on that later—is a good example. Instead, the solution is to make it new, bold and above all, to make it look very different from existing non-green offerings. Like, yes, wait for it: the Prius. Want examples that aren’t as overused?
“While the current good intentions of corporations and consumers are helpful, serious eco-results will depend on making products and processes more sustainable without consumers even noticing it, and, if necessary, not leaving much room for consumers and companies to opt for less sustainable alternatives. Which will often mean forceful, if not painful, government intervention, or some serious corporate guts, or brilliantly smart design and thinking, if not all of those combined.
Think green buildings, or a ban on plastic bags or gas-guzzlers—anything that becomes truly embedded into daily life, and by default leaves no choice, no room for complacency.”
Green buildings, cities and… nations. The rush is on: in April 2007, Norway, the world’s fifth largest oil exporter, stated that it was aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030, while Costa Rica aims for the same by 2021. California (practically a country by itself ;-) aims to cut emissions by 80% by 2050. Sweden claims it will be the first oil-free country in the world by 2020. And last but not least, in Iceland, 99.95% of all electricity used is already produced by green energy



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