In order for green technologies to be used by the general population, they need to be both practical and cost effective. If a product is not practical, then no one but the most earthy crunchy will use it. If the product is not cost effective, then the general population will either not be able to afford it, or not believe it’s worth the money to buy it.
When my wife and I remodeled our last house, we tried to do it as environmentally friendly as possible. Unfortunately, not everything we did was as green as possible because budget was a factor. We ended up using the less costly options, unless there was going to be an eventual payoff. We chose high efficiency windows, opened and insulated all the walls, went with Energy Star appliances, and installed an attic fan rather than air conditioning. However, we made a few choices that were not completely ungreen, but could have been better.
Sustainable flooring ended up being about twice the cost of engineered flooring, so we ended up saving a few thousand dollars. The furnace we replaced was toward the efficient end of the spectrum, but it would have been an extra two thousand dollars to get the most efficient model. We also wanted to put in solar panels, but ended up choosing a functional master bathroom instead. Money is a factor for the general population, so compromises need to be made in order to accomplish actual goals.
Our end goal was to remodel an old beaten up house into something liveable. Being as green as possible isn’t always practical, especially if you’re running out of money. When you’re not able to go completely green, for whatever reason, it’s progress as long as you’re trending in the right direction.