Generally perceived differences between Green and Sustainable

The whole lot from vehicles and houses to electrical appliances and utilities are presenting fresh opportunities for customers to be Green. People who advocate use of environmentally-friendly products definitely are not a novel interest group; however, the characterisation of what makes a product ‘eco-friendly’ is shifting.

Green is a word that is wider in the approach of being environmentally friendly or saving the environment. The word Green can be used in various context like buildings, products, processes, groups of people and even resources. Honestly there is nothing can be greener than a tree / plant. Sustainable however is more specific term used mostly for product or process that can be re-used or re-grown time and again.

Thus if a product has to be termed appropriately sustainable, the manufacturing, transportation, and powering of it would all have to be done in a way that doesn’t exhaust resources or mar the surrounding area or pollute the air. For example if the electricity comes from a clean source such as wind, solar or hydro then it can become sustainable.

From the definitions it is safe to conclude that a product can be green in its ultimate application but not necessarily sustainable in its manufacture and primary application. A product is only considered both green and sustainable when it meets the criteria mentioned for a product to be green and sustainable.

Some experts suggest that sustainability throws spotlight on the distant future for example the impact a design will have on the environment after 30 or 50 years whereas, green centers on the present or the near future. Green design deals with most of the characteristics that a sustainable design deals with it is just that green gives emphasis to near term impact such as indoor environment quality, process and continuation features, as well as meeting existing customer necessities.

Sustainable design is of primary significance to the universal atmosphere in the long-term while still integrating attributes of green design that centers attention on the present and near future. In context of a building the most imperative issue is balance between Green and Sustainable. Usually green landscape engineers contribute in the end and not during the planning stage. To make a project green as well as sustainable the involvement of the landscape engineers should be from the planning stage and they should take all the environmental issues can be considered.

Using sustainable products helps make things green and those that want to be green, need to use sustainable products or use the sustainable concept. The main thing to remember is that we should all try and be less wasteful and more conscious of how the products we use affect our environment. We should all want the earth to be as beautiful for us today as it can and to be as beautiful for many generations to come.

So, for green perfectionists (which is an increasing number of people) to come at a conclusion of what to use, will involve research not only about the properties of the product but of the business policies of the producer.


Gilg, A., Barr, S., and Ford, N., 2005, “Green consumption or sustainable lifestyles? Identifying the sustainable consumer”, Futures, Vol. 37, No. 6, pp 481-504

Jenkin, T. A., Webster, J., and McShane, L., 2010, “An agenda for ‘Green’ information technology and systems research”, Information and Organisation, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp 17-40 accessed on 6th January 2012


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