Alternative mobility tops list of 2011 green trends
"A lot of people have been wondering if the recession hurt the momentum of the green movement, but it is still very much alive," said Ann Mack, director of trend spotting for JWT, a New York firm that counts Ford Motor Co. and Microsoft among its clients.
More luxury green vehicles will enter the marketplace, following a trail blazed by San Francisco electric sports-car maker Tesla, the report said. Mercedes-Benz and Bentley will each offer top-of-the-line vehicles with smaller engines next year, and Porsche and BMW will further their plans for plug-in hybrids.
Car-sharing will also become more prevalent, due "to an increasingly urbanized congested world with an aging population," Mack said. In addition to established firms such as ZipCar, the auto manufacturers themselves will begin to offer car-sharing, as will individuals through peer-to-peer share programs such as the San Francisco start-up Spride.
Government will also help shape the green landscape in 2011. Next summer, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to issue new Green Guides to stop manufacturers from making false green claims. And the United Nations has designated 2011 as the International Year of Forests, which will help raise awareness of worldwide deforestation, the report said.
Consumers will become increasingly interested in reducing energy consumption and will have access to new consumer products designed to help monitor their home energy use, including home energy monitors and smart meters. Self-powered devices, which employ microchips powered by small temperature changes and require no battery or outside power source, will aid in cutting power consumption, according to the report.
-- Susan Carpenter
Photo: Sumatran palm oil plantation. Credit: Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images