Friday, March 7, 2014

Greening your Company

How can a company become Greener?

1. Donate your profits.  Yes, this is huge.

Not only is it amazing for the world, but it is also great for marketing.
Donating 10% is a good start, but the more the better.
Who to donate to:  There are so many places to give money, but if you want to go green you have to
focus on donating money to NGOs who are working on saving endangered animals (like African Wildlife Foundation), indigenous people and their lands (like Amazon Watch), protecting wild lands (like Nature Conservancy), preventing bad political policies (like Food and Water Watch).
Please do avoid: cancer research studies (blackhole), there are many agencies that typically tend to be the go-to agencies for many people who feel like giving back.  The point of going green is donating to what actually promotes the oxygen we breathe, what promotes physically our sustenance on planet earth, which are all of the ecosystems.  It's not a bad thing to give to agencies that have humans as their focus on their agenda, but unfortunately we have this really unbalanced view of the planet where humans are center to everything -- kind of like how we used to think that the sun circled around the earth, because the earth was the 'center' of the universe.  Currently our perception is that 'humans' are the center of life.  But actually that thinking is exactly what will cause the end of our civilization if we don't adjust it accordingly.  Life is the center of life, and humans are a mere strand in this beautiful web of connections on planet earth.

2. Track down where all of your inputs come from:

Sustainable systems create happy people on all levels of that system, they don't pollute, they work with nature not against, they promote animal welfare, and wildlife.  Of course since our economic system has drived us pretty far away from models that are totally interconnected with these values -- our goal is to get them back as much as we can.  Or if we truly dedicated, we start from scratch and recreate success in a sustainable way.

Ask yourself these questions while contemplating on them deeply:

1-People-- where do your employees live, what are their work conditions-- this may go pretty far down the chain, what are they paid, are they happy? why are they interested in your company?
2-Money -- who are your consumers? Why do they buy your product? Does it serve their integrity?
    a-- Paper-- Where does it come from?  Who works where and for how long in order for that product                         to end up at your company?  Is it logged unsustainably?
    c-- Computers
   d --- Furniture
   e--- Machinery/Equipment
where does all of it come from, what are the working conditions of the people who work in the mines for the computers made, or the truck drivers who haul it, or the engineers who put them together, are they local, how many continents did those items have to travel to come to your business?
How can you give back? In what way can the lives of those at the 'bottom' of the chain be benefited the most.  Mine tailings cause huge environmental damage and can destroy the health of soils and bodies of water in the vicinity.  Tailings create acid run off that kill off wildlife and cause other types of destruction.  Is it possible to fund engineers to re-create equipment or materials using more plant based materials?  Is it possible to fund locals in the community to come together with the help of an expert to clean up their waters and restore their lands -- perhaps they could even plant bamboo for a new source of sustainable paper for your company!  Think big, clear your mind, let ideas flow into you. The greener you become, the more honored people will be to work for you and the more honored your customer base will be to support your work.

4. What are your outputs?
   a. Is the product healthy? Do they have animal products, or harmful ingredients--pesticides,                        preservatives?
       Supporting animal products is very taxing on the environment.  Cattle ranches in S America is          perhaps the biggest threat to the Amazon.  It takes far more calories to support animal operations            than it would to just support people with those same calories.  Also the way we raise animals today        'economically' is very taxing on the environment.  The amount of waste and excrement that comes          from these operations is hardly manageable. Even if it were to be shipped to be treated or recycled,        it's very expensive (to ship because of the weight), and often the main way to recycle the nutrients          is on agricultural land, while this may be a better option than synthetic nutrients, it doesn't address          the fact that large amounts of excrement isn't really that beneficial to the soil, it contains a lot of              salts, and phosphorus which can bind up other important elements in the soil.  A lot of the nitrogen        will eventually find it's way back into the land through water ways, which causes algal blooms and        kills fish by depleting the oxygen.  Animal products also are linked with many health problems in          people especially in industrialized countries where 'nutrients' are in excess and overload.  But I              won't get into that further.  Basically animal products are not green.
   b. Does the product support families and communities?
   c.  Is the product resource efficient? Is it used with minimal resources?  Once it the product is bought,         does it use a lot of energy?  Does it produce it's own energy (perhaps solar or human powered) ?
   d. Is the product affordable?
   e. Does the price account for environmental costs?
   F.  Is it beautiful?  Will it be useful for years to come?  Is it practical?  Does it have a variety of uses?

That's all for now