Eco2 Card inventors come to Boulder Public Library to share idea with eco-friendly Boulder
It is no secret that environmentally-friendly products tend to cost more, but a new type of card, the Eco2 Card, may change this in the future.
David Johnston, an authority on green building, and finance expert Bernard Lietaer held an open panel at Boulder Public Library on April 18 to talk about their Eco2 Card.
“What if we were a model for the planet of what a carbon-neutral city can be?” Johnston said.
The card would give consumers a financial incentive to buy carbon-reducing products. An organization would determine how much a house or building had reduced its carbon emissions, and then an individual, family or company would earn credits for how much they had cut back. Credits could also be earned from driving hybrid cars. These credits could then be used towards buying other environmentally friendly products.
This will keep money in a market that supports the environment. And it will even the playing field between products that are eco-friendly and those that are cheaper, Johnston and Lietaer said.
Johnston pointed out that carbon-reducing products are expensive. To install solar panels on a house costs around $25,000, said one McGuckin Hardware worker. Even though Colorado has legislation and rebates to help make these products more affordable, Johnston thinks the government is not doing enough.
“There are people in Boulder building zero-energy homes, and they’re doing it out of the goodness of their heart,” Johnston said.
Public support has been overwhelmingly positive, Johnston said, mainly because people in Boulder and California cities tend to be more concerned about the environment. His organization’s only challenge will be an internal one — making sure there is enough support to deal with all the parties involved, including individual people, companies honoring benefits and local governments.
Boulder Mayor Mark Ruzzin has made it known that he is committed to reaching the carbon goals set forth by the Kyoto protocol, which is an amendment concentrating on the reduction of greenhouse gas. If people are interested in the Eco2 Card, they should let Mayor Ruzzin know, Johnston said.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction. The whole point is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, to reduce our carbon footprint,” Drew Paulson, a McGuckin Hardware worker, said.
The card is not available yet, but it is underway in Boulder, Oakland and San Francisco.