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Profits and SustainabilityA History of Green Entrepreneurship$
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Geoffrey Jones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198706977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198706977.001.0001

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Poisoned Earth

Poisoned Earth

Green Businesses, 1930s–1950s

(p.55) 2 Poisoned Earth
Profits and Sustainability

Geoffrey Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at green business between the 1930s and the 1950s, when most policy-makers, voters, and consumers had little interest in the natural environment. It considers organic food, natural beauty, wind and solar energy, and architecture. This was a very challenging period for green entrepreneurship. Wind and solar were wholly unable to compete with conventional fuels. Most consumers had little interest in organic food or cosmetic products using plants rather than chemical ingredients. Ecological architects had few clients. The figures considered here all worked on the margins of the business world—some were downright eccentric—and they achieved little towards legitimizing their alternative views in the eyes of consumers and others. Yet in retrospect they were laying foundations for the future.

Keywords:   organic food, natural beauty, wind energy, solar energy, ecological architecture

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