Going green seems to be everywhere these days from energy efficient light bulbs to solar panel heating. Celebrities are making it fashionable and spurring the trend by driving hybrid vehicles and composting their own food but what does it really take to be green? It can be anything that involves clean energy, nature, or alternative/holistic approaches. Some people feel that it is achieved by conserving the environment and using sustainable energy while others believe that eating organic foods, living naturally and holistically and being green with our bodies is the approach. Whatever your opinion, it all falls back to the basic concept of living natural and protecting the health of ourselves and our surroundings.
With the increasing demand and popularity, finding an eco-friendly career has never been easier. In the past, a degree in engineering, water conservation, wildlife conservation or agricultural fields would be a must but many new areas are emerging for new industries to participate as well.
Architects and designers - With the push of the U.S. Green Building Council and the fact that sustainable, energy-efficient building practices are becoming the norm, builders are now creating buildings and spaces that help conserve energy without compromising the look or appeal of the structure. The leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system has now been adapted to homes, retail, schools and healthcare buildings, creating a need for more LEED-accredited professionals and other green conscious engineers, contractors, architects and designers. Interior designers now often use recycled materials including flooring and countertops and are in favor of more energy and air-friendly means of cleaning. Designers are increasingly working with architects from the beginning of projects to help create ways to be eco-friendly. Focus is being put on using products that have the color and texture to reduced energy lighting or expand the range of thermal comfort conditions, only using products that do not need harsh coatings and finishes and knowing the background on products manufacturing process.
Lawyers Many law students can now study for the environmental law certification with their degree, and may go on to work in government at the state and federal levels or at private practices with an environmental focus. Lawyers can be instrumental in the decisions promoting issues such as the Clean Air Act that requires the regulation of greenhouse gas, fighting against mountaintop removal mining, and pushing for endangered species listings. In fact the Lawyers for Green Jobs just released an innovative green jobs model legislation that calls to provide green jobs education and training as well as expand existing green jobs training programs in New York. The mission is to increase the focus on the environments while stimulating the state's economy.
Professors and teachers Though there arent many schools offering degrees in sustainability, thats beginning to change and professors are needed to teach students the principles of sustainability through their coursework. Schools have begun either converting existing programs or starting new ones and schools are now offering an MBA in Sustainable Management. Also, congress is working on a bill that will provide money to help states develop environmental lessons and train teachers to deliver them. In addition, the National Environmental Education Foundation, which works with schools and other institutions to promote green curricula, has seen an increased number of participants. EdWeek.org
Holistic medicine - Holistic medicine is a system of health care which focuses on all aspects of health and practices outside of conventional medicine. It emphasizes the need to look at the whole person, including analysis of physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual and lifestyle values. It focuses on natural healing and alternative medicine including herbalism, acupuncture, yoga and meditation. A survey conducted in 2002 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine states that 36 percent of U.S. adults have began using some form of alternative care and are looking to safely heal both acute and chronic illnesses. EMagazine.com
Hybrid car mechanic - Changes in automotive technology, including hybrid engines and alternative fuel technologies will require that auto mechanics are up to date on the latest industry trends and increase the demand for specialized mechanics. Therefore the job growth for these workers is expected to occur faster than average. Many hybrid specific shops have begun opening that also focused on being mindful of their environmental impact. These garages use re-refined motor oil, contract with local suppliers when possible and recycle all scrap metal to help decrease their impact on the environment. Wired.com
For more information on green careers visit GreenCareerCentral.com