How to turn your business from mean to green

Let’s face it – there’s nothing green about certain dirty businesses. It’s for the most part, a mass polluting mess, the modern-day equivalent of a chimney stack on top of a Dickensian workhouse. Yet people haven’t changed much when it comes to attitudes towards pollution, despite what An Inconvenient Truth will have you believe.

Let’s face it – there’s nothing green about certain dirty businesses. It’s for the most part, a mass polluting mess, the modern-day equivalent of a chimney stack on top of a Dickensian workhouse

Instead of making major changes to fix the climate catastrophe, human beings simply try to adapt to their increasingly catastrophic circumstances. While that was fine when the weather changed of its own accord, the picture becomes different when humans hold the fate of the planet in their hands.

We pollute en masse, largely ignorant of the consequences of our actions. But while the general population is generally at fault, a large amount of blame can be laid at the feet of big business.

 

Corporate waste

Major corporations pollute without much care for wider environmental concerns. Oil corporations, in particular, spend most of their time looking for a new source of income, and no time wondering what the wider repercussions of their search could be. And as the polar icecaps melt and the residents of eastern countries walk the streets wearing gas masks, companies shrug and continue on their quest to increase the wealth of their shareholders.
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According to Naomi Klein, world famous author and political activist, this is the same as it ever was, but the machinery of greed has been validated by the rise of free market capitalism. Companies which hop from country to country, seeking cheaper wages and more resources to exploit, are congratulated for their profit margins rather than castigated for their wasteful attitudes.
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But none of this means that businesses operating on a smaller scale can’t make a difference. If the majority of them learned the values of frugality and avoided finite resources, the world would be in a better shape. image

The SME solution

Instead of moving to a larger warehouse which takes up more energy, a thriving company could purchase an economical warehouse mezzanine floor and save energy in the process.

Likewise, a wasteful energy plan could be replaced with renewable energy, cutting bills and cleaning up the environment.

All this can be added to a few more basic solutions like a recycling plan and the utilisation of renewable resources. And not only are they effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint, they’re a perfect way to enjoy positive PR in your business.

Many companies have thrived from this kind of business model. Profitable enterprises like Lush, the cosmetic and hygiene manufacturer which has won various awards for ethics in business, have managed to minimise its carbon footprint and still make plenty of cash.

It’s a lesson that more businesses could learn from. In both workplace design and foundational business model, there are plenty of ways to turn your business from wasteful to resourceful.

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Verterra Makes a Plate Like No Other..From Fallen Leaves and Are Biodegradeable!!

Recently Verterra dinnerware company and I got to talking about how their product did not seem like any ordinary disposable plate.  I really wanted to learn more about this company.  I mean if they are using strong durable disposable plates and bowls and more that are totally eco friendly and natural.  To think that a simple way to green living can be to just change the types of disposable plates we use is fantastic.

Resized_2_2048x2048Verterra is biodegradable since it breaks down into mostly water, carbon dioxide, and organic compost in 6 months.

This product is also compostable.  This means it rapidly biodegrades and disintegrates.  This releases nutrients into the soil, without leaving behind any toxic residues.   To be considered compostable, products should meet the ASTM Standards for plastics and packaging.

After learning these terms I realized that this product is more than biodegradable.  According to all the studies they did on the product to meet certain standards, it was determined that a mixture of compost and VerTerra byproducts act as a fertilizer.  This will enhance plant growth signicantly.

Not only did they say that VerTerra

Some great food on Verterra plates. Not a bad looking plate for a party; right acts as a compost, but it also makes high-quality compost. 

These 8 packs are located at Whole Foods stores and can go from $3.99 – $6.99 depending on the product.  Now while it might not be for you just yet, the These 8 packs are located at Whole Foods stores and can go from $3.99 – $6.99 depending on the product.  Now while it might not be for you just yet, the Dallas Cowboys use them (WHY NOT THE NY GIANTS?), schools, restaurants, hospitals, food service agencies and more are catching on.  This in my opinion will bring down the price in the future based on quantities.  However, to think I can serve a party and get great compost for $7.00 at the most; not bad.

Wildlife Works Launches CODE REDD Campaign to Save the World’s Threatened Forests

Emergency campaign calls for immediate action from the private sector to reduce their carbon footprint while supporting innovative forest protection projects.
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As corporations recognize their responsibility to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint by lowering emissions and offsetting the rest, the CODE REDD campaign aims to make it easy and compelling for corporations to pledge to buy REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) carbon offsets.  Which is why Wildlife Works announced the launch of CODE REDD, an emergency action campaign to save the world’s wild forests using private sector financing within the Voluntary Carbon Market.

The Campaign will also ensure that those offsets are generated by specific high quality forest protection projects that have proven they can protect threatened forests while at the same time providing unprecedented sustainable development opportunities to local forest communities.

“The goal of the CODE REDD Campaign is to dramatically increase the demand for REDD project carbon offsets now.  With increased demand, REDD can scale to overcome the massive threat to the worlds forests and make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change.” said Mike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works and the creator of the CODE REDD Campaign.

Wild forests are disappearing at the alarming rate of 13 million hectares per year (FAO 2010) and deforestation accounts for an estimated 17% of total annual global greenhouse gas emissions (UNIPCC 2007). The effects of deforestation are having devastating impacts on people and wildlife throughout the world and are threatening the resources humans need for survival. Climate change experts widely agree that climate stability cannot be achieved without the conservation of the world’s remaining forests.

“Reducing your carbon footprint is not a UN obligation. It’s a global responsibility. It is time for the private sector to show innovation and leadership and do something REDD,” said Korchinsky.

Source: Wildlife Works

Green Your Home Part Two

GREEN YOUR BATHROOM

Fixture update:  Your bathroom is the biggest water hog in your house, accounting for half of all H20 used inside of a home. Protect this precious resource by seeking out faucets, showers, and toilets that carry the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label. These environmentally friendly fixtures use about 20 percent less water than average to help you save 7,000 gallons of water annually (enough to wash 6 months’ worth of laundry). 
 Your bathroom is the biggest water hog in your house, accounting for half of all H20 used inside of a home. Protect this precious resource by seeking out faucets, showers, and toilets that carry the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label. These environmentally friendly fixtures use about 20 percent less water than average to help you save 7,000 gallons of water annually (enough to wash 6 months’ worth of laundry). 

BREATHE IN THE FRESH AIR
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Plants such as Aloe can help filter out toxins in your air supply: This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.
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MAKE YOUR BEDROOM ORGANIC
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Go Organic Sheeting (and prepare to never go back): Coyuchi’s sheets are made of 100% organic cotton and use only natural fibers, all of which are produced using a nontoxic production process certified to either the OEKO-TEX standard or the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This means there are no toxic dyes, bleaches or finishes used to make conventional textiles. Coyuchi believes that fibers are best for us when kept closest to their natural state, and sheeting is one of the most important fibers we encounter.

CONNECT YOUR KITCHEN TO YOUR GARDEN
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Turn your food scraps into rich compost: Many people wouldn’t even think twice before throwing out their egg shells, banana peels, apple cores or peeled veggies. Taking your kitchen scraps and turning them into compost is an easy way to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we release into our environment. By composting, we can naturally add nutrients to soil allowing for the Earth to obtain more carbon.

What are your clothes made of?

As reported once in the Associated Press:
Styles in fashion are ephemeral and fickle. Those acid-wash jeans, M.C. Hammer pants, and DayGlo T-shirts you loved in middle school have long since reached “out” status (though the harem pants we saw on the Spring 2007 runways look a bit Hammer Time to us). The skinny jeans you love right now will one day follow their fate.

Though trends come and go, the clothes themselves stick around. To make room for new fashions, the average American throws away about 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per year. Mother Earth isn’t that fond of polyester, and is quite warm enough already, thank you very much.

On top of that, producing new clothes out of traditionally grown cotton taxes the environment with chemical fertilizers and pesticides; energy and chemicals are required to manufacture synthetic materials. The all-American combo of a cotton T-shirt and a pair of denim jeans, for instance, requires 1 pound of fertilizers and pesticides.
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But the fashion industry is beginning to recognize its impact, as well as consumers’ desire for more eco-friendly fashion. An increasing number of independent designers and boutiques specialize in eco-conscious fashion that is more hip than hippy.
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Even big companies like H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Uniqlo, which sell really cheap, trendy, and easily disposable clothing (a.k.a. “fast clothes”) are taking steps to be more eco-friendly. One way is by using alternative materials that reduce post-consumer waste and pollution.

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REUSE, RECYCLE, AND WORK IT!

The most ecological materials are the ones already lying around. But don’t worry — this isn’t like getting your sister’s tattered hand-me-downs or playing dress-up with leftover wrapping paper. Designers are creatively repurposing existing materials, making purses out of candy wrappers or totally new clothes out of discarded fabric and garments. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the industry keeps 2.5 billion pounds of post-consumer textile product waste from entering landfills every year.

That is why the clothing line RevengeIs commits to producing Tees in the USA. As their owner states:

Everything on our website is conceived, born, and raised in the fine metropolitan city of Los Angeles. Our products are free-range, organic, vegetarian, and never given any antibiotics or hormones. Which is pretty easy to do… because they’re t-shirts.

Our Tees are made from Organic Cotton and Bionic Yarn.
Can any of your other clothes say that? Some super-smart folks convert plastic bottles into fibers that are woven into fabric. They use awesome technology or elf dust – either way it’s pretty amazing and we love them.

BUY ORGANIC

Going organic doesn’t just apply to what you eat. Now you can buy clothes made out of organic cotton, grown without fertilizers and pesticides. Less than 1 percent of the world’s annual
cotton production is organic, but that’s certain to increase as more mainstream stores carry organic clothing and customers demand it. H&M is already producing an organic cotton line.
 RevengeIs Clothing https://www.revengeis.com

PANDA SNACK

Previously known as panda food, bamboo is also an all-purpose material used to make flooring, furniture, housewares — and clothes. For good reason: It grows as many as 12 inches a day, making it a highly sustainable and renewable resource that doesn’t require pesticides. Clothes made out of bamboo are incredibly durable, soft, biodegradable and antibacterial. (And pandas will highly approve.)

JIFFY POP

Wearing corn doesn’t have to mean being wrapped in popcorn garlands like a Christmas tree. Ingeo is a man-made fiber whose raw material is corn. Given that corn is easily and abundantly grown annually, Ingeo is highly renewable. And when you’re ready to get rid of your tired threads made of Ingeo, you’ll be comforted in knowing that they’ll be biodegradable, giving back to the Earth rather than burdening it.

NOT JUST FOR SUSHI

There’s no need to go to the spa for your seaweed-wrap treatment: Now you can wear seaweed all day. SeaCell is a fabric made from seaweed and cellulose. Like bamboo and corn, seaweed is highly renewable and, when made into fabric, releases minerals and vitamins such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin E that the skin absorbs. Literally, you can look good and feel good.

WHEN THE SODA GOES FLAT

A plastic dress? No, it’s not the mod sixties making a comeback. EcoSpun is a fabric made of 100 percent post-consumer plastic from soda bottles, water bottles and other beverage and household containers. Clothes made from EcoSpun — often used in fleece jackets — are soft and durable. The company says it’s able to keep almost 3 billion plastic soda bottles out of landfills each year, saving over half a million barrels of oil and eliminating 400,000 tons of harmful emissions. So recycle your soda bottle; you could be wearing it one day.
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Sunday, May 27, 2007