Are Green Collar Jobs The Answer to Our Current Economic Dilemma?

Collared GreensAs today’s blue collar workers lament the loss of jobs to illegal immigrants or offshoring, a whole new movement is afoot that very well may provide the solution to unemployment woes.  As we experience the total revolution of our economy as we know it, an entirely new set of jobs are being created; green collar jobs.  In fact, not since the Industrial Age has the global economy experienced the onsite of such a dramatic transformation!

The Urban Habitat blog lists an impressive array of sectors where these new jobs will come from:

  • Bicycle repair and bike delivery services
  • Car and truck mechanic jobs, production jobs, and gas-station jobs related to biodiesel
  • Energy retrofits to increase energy efficiency and conservation
  • Green building
  • Green waste composting on a large scale
  • Hauling and reuse of construction materials and debris (C&D)
  • Hazardous materials clean-up
  • Landscaping
  • Manufacturing jobs related to large scale production of appropriate technologies (i.e. solar panels, bike cargo systems, green waste bins, etc.)
  • Materials reuse
  • Non-toxic household cleaning in residential and commercial buildings
  • Parks and open space expansion and maintenance
  • Printing with non-toxic inks and dyes
  • Public transit jobs related to driving, maintenance, and repair
  • Recycling and reuse
  • Small businesses producing products from recycled materials
  • Solar installation
  • Tree cutting and pruning
  • Peri-urban and urban agriculture
  • Water retrofits to increase water efficiency and conservation
  • Whole home performance, including attic insulation, weatherization, etc.

To this laundry list I would also add PR and writing jobs aimed at raising public awareness of green issues, research and development jobs related to new forms of renewable energy (this is on the white side of green collar), new regulatory and inspection jobs related to corporate accountability, and eco tourism – which is vacationing with a green twist. 

Many of these new jobs do not require specialized training, and can be filled by those from more traditional industries displaced as the old structures crumbled.  It is highly likely that our current economic crisis happened for a reason – and will have a positive outcome as the need for economic stability accelerates the greening of our world. 

[Image Credit:  teamstickergiant at Flickr under a Creative Commons license]