Despite the havoc it has caused around the world, the economic crisis has, [url='http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/focus-earth/green-industry-blues.html,t least in some ways[/url'], helped environmentalism. Spending is down, meaning reduced waste from consumer products and fewer emissions from now-inactive factories. With personal budgets tight, people are driving less and staying in their neighborhood during vacations instead of flying around the world. The challenge we now face is finding a way to maintain these environmentally-friendly consequences while reviving the economy.

Accomplishing this will not be easy. Traditionally, economic recovery has relied on programs that encourage indiscriminate consumer spending and government investments in large public infrastructure improvements like new airports and roads. There are "green" alternatives to these strategies but, as David Owen points out, they are not perfect. Still, there are things we can do that will promote economic recovery and even expand environmental responsibility.