frog: The Inconvenient Truth Of Going Green

frog: The Inconvenient Truth Of Going Green

After spending $5,000 on solar panels for his home, Colin Cole of frog, realized his 'eco-fit' didn't qualify for utility rebates. Going green is an expensive and complicated process. Why would anyone make the effort?

  • 17 august 2011

When you’re passionate about something, it’s easy to maintain your commitment. For years, environmentalists have sorted trash to recycle and protested for stricter emissions standards. They’ve paid a premium for energy-efficient products. But what about consumers that are on the fence? Those who want to be environmentally responsible, but won’t chase it any cost? Setbacks in their early efforts to choose greener products and services can quickly shatter the best intentions.

What happens the first time you accidentally break a $20 LED light bulb? Will you spend another $20 to replace it, or will you go back to the $1 incandescent? What happens if you receive a higher electric bill the first month after your utility company installs a new “smart meter”?

I recently experienced this kind of eco-buzzkill firsthand. After a lengthy application process, I was told my planned solar panel purchase didn’t qualify for utility rebates. Several houses on my block were approved for seemingly identical systems (with the same panel orientation and hours of available sunlight). The rejection left me feeling burned by a convoluted process and unevenly applied rules. In a bad economy, I had been willing to spend $5,000 out of pocket on something that wouldn’t break even financially for seven years. All because it seemed like the environmentally responsible thing to do.

Adoption shouldn’t depend solely on consumer passion and persistence. Convenience, ease of use, and ease of access must be part of any new product strategy. Otherwise, the market for greener products will continue to be just a sliver of its potential.

Energized is an ongoing series following my education about living a more sustainable life.

Colin Cole is the Vice President of frog’s Design Realization group. He works closely with design and engineering teams to bring innovative ideas to market. With over 20 years of experience in both creative and engineering management, Collin brings focus and multi-disciplinary expertise to this critical phase of the delivery process. In 1996, Collin co-founded frog’s digital media group and has worked extensively with frog clientele in the USA, Europe, and India.


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Brand Development Yesterday

Swipe Left On A Dating World Built To Keep You Single And Disconnected

Hinge's VP of Marketing Karen Fein tells us about the service's daring ditch of the swiping culture that's designed to attract advertising revenue, not meaningful connections

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Marvel Comic Tells The Story Of A Heroic Syrian Mother

Madaya Mom is the true tale of a family trapped inside a town for over a year


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Yesterday

Brooklyn Cafe Lets Customers Pay By The Hour, Not By The Cup

Glasshour is an establishment that provides free coffee and pastries and charges for the time guests spend there

Technology Yesterday

Electric Spoon Changes The Way Food Tastes

The Taste Buddy is being developed to manipulate your taste buds and make everything more delicious

Related Expert

Barry Richards

Exhibition Design

Travel Yesterday

Bike Path In Poland Can Glow For 20 Years Using Solar Power

Cyclists can follow the shimmering blue lanes for better safety each time they ride

Technology Yesterday

Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture

The Wikiblock database contains 30 blueprints of different neighborhood fixtures including benches, bus stops, and kiosks

Food Yesterday

Tiny Pub Only Has Space For Three People

Make Time For It is a small London pop-up bar that encourages conversation without the distraction of technology


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Work Yesterday

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

Advertising Yesterday

This Beer Was Brewed Just For Scotch Drinkers

Highland Park Scotch Whisky & Sixpoint Brewery have teamed up to create two limited-edition pairings for New York City boilermakers

Mobile Yesterday

Let An AI Librarian Help Sort Your Digital Bookmarks

A new app uses machine learning to help organize your virtual life

Mobile Yesterday

Pizza Hut Tattoo Lets You Place An Order From Your Body

The latest gimmick from the fast-food chain is a tattoo-like sticker that lets customers get delivery with a simple tap on their arm

Travel Yesterday

Reinvented Bicycle Inspired By Supercar Design

The yellow bike based on a Lamborghini has sharp edges and an aluminum alloy frame

Health Yesterday

Health Platform Gives Perspective On Your Weekly Habits

Gyroscope is a new wellness app that works by amalgamating data about your life into beautifully designed visuals

Beauty Yesterday

Korean Beauty Brand Uses VR To Let Customers Pick Their Ingredients

Innisfree created a unique experience for its Shanghai Disneyland customers with a virtual reality trip to select what goes into their purchase

Arts & Culture Yesterday

3D-Printed Creations Resemble Floating Paper Outlines

Japanese design firm Nendo's exhibition features works that look like sheets of material being folded, torn, and crumpled

No search results found.