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Monday, 18 February 2008

10 Simple Ways To (not) Make An Impact On The Environment

I have been looking at my business lately, trying to figure out how we can reduce our impact on the environment. Being in the green industry, we should really be setting an example to our clients and other businesses.

There are some simple things that I believe we can do, and are doing, but at first glance it seems as if this shift in mindset doesn't come without some cost - whether time, energy or money.

Some of the solutions should have long term benefits, but what are the short term costs?

These are the questions I'm asking us as a business, and should probably be asking my suppliers as well:
  1. Are we using sustainable resources?
  2. Are we being efficient with our resources?
  3. Is there any way of recycling materials (waste or other)?
  4. Are our staff being paid a fair wage that can sustain them and their family?
Sustainability is a word that is being over-used in so many contexts, that it's in danger of losing its meaning in the near future. There is also a lot of debate over how to define sustainability anyway.
Broadly speaking, sustainability is defined as :
"Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."
But I think we are all guilty at some point of looking for the shortcut, or the lower price, without asking some difficult questions.
For example, do I know whether my suppliers are paying a decent wage to their staff?
When I am buying materials, what guarantees do I have that they've been sourced from a sustainable supply?

Simply put, are people or the environment getting ripped off for my benefit?

Some simple things everyone can do to lessen their impact:
  1. Visit and do the quiz. Also check out Breathing Earth
  2. Recycle glass, paper etc. as much as possible. Glass is one of the few things that can be re-re-recycled.
  3. Replace normal light bulbs with Fluorescent - the use a fraction of the electricity, and last much longer.
  4. Support local businesses, farmers, trades-people and products
  5. Buy organic foods
  6. Walk, or cycle where possible
  7. Buy re-cycled products
  8. Turn off lights and appliances when you're not using them
  9. Try to avoid products with excessive packaging
  10. My favourite - Plant a tree (Preferably indigenous!)


Chookie said...

Good on you, for doing what you can, today!

antonyellis said...

If everything goes green, does that mean every day will be St Patrick's day? I hope McDonalds doesn't close down.

Katarina said...

So true! I think we (and I'm one) often look for bargains and low prices - without asking ourselves the question: Does this company pay their employees fair wages?
Besides, it's not easy to find out, is it? But we need to do what we can, and you've given excellent advice!

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