Archive for Sustainability

Maybe saying the words “Climate Change” should be avoided. Say “Economics” instead.

It is heartening to read an article that shows that people can embrace environmentally conscious ways of running a business without being labeled an environmentalist. A farmer in Kansas has, “embraced an (sic) environmentally conscious way of farming that guards against soil erosion and conserves precious water.”

climate change economicsWhat was that? A farmer in the heartland of America? Yes. The key throughout this article is not that he is doing this, it is that he is doing this because it makes economic sense. In the same breath, he will not use the words “Climate Change.” And he is right.

I really don’t care about the argument for or against climate change any more (well I do from an intellectual exercise standpoint), but I do care that we all take actions that encourage sustainability. I have tried to make this point to people for many years.

Sustainability is not about terms, it is about Environmental, Economic and Social responsibility that in the end causes the economy to grow and to continue to be able to grow.

Well, it makes sense that a farmer would understand that concept!

Read the full article:
In America’s Heartland, Discussing Climate Change Without Saying ‘Climate Change’
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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The Attempted Destruction of Five Decades of Progress

I think that this quote from the recent New Yorker Article sums it up best…”…It’s clear that we’re about to witness the steady demolition, or attempted demolition, of the environmental protections that have been put in place over the past five decades.”

In a recently leaked memo, Trump’s priorities have been made clear….Stop the Clean Power Plan, allow wetlands destruction, stop cleaning up Chesapeake Bay. To further this position, he is placing a person who clearly dislikes the EPA and has sued it 14 times.

clean power plan

But let’s not stop there. Let’s issue gag orders on to prevent factual information from being released…

This article is rife with what could at best be described as frightening information.

What is saddest of all is the fact that environmental protections have been economically shown to benefit profits, jobs and overall expenditures. A clean environment means lower respiratory illness rates, cleaner and more easily treated water and better long term economic sustainability.

Of course, if you are a short term profit monger, then protecting the environment makes no sense.

Read the full article:
A BAD DAY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, WITH MANY MORE TO COME

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Green Travel…Are we there yet?

Although it is not that overwhelming, only 25% of hotels have a sustainability program and it is becoming more commonplace to see such hotels. Even more promising, there are more tour groups that try and run socially and sustainably oriented travel programs.

I think that it is equally promising that cruise lines, long notorious polluters of the air and water, are, pardon the pun, getting on board and becoming more environmentally conscious.

environmentally responsible

Why? As I have pointed out in prior posts on many topics, it is both doing good and doing well at the same time. Companies are beginning to realize that they need to both protect the resources that their tours and programs rely on, and that being more environmentally responsible means that they can increase their profit margins.

It is a small effort to make when looking for environmentally responsible travel.

So, why not get onto the trend and commit to such travel?

Read the full article:
Where Sustainable Travel Is Headed in 2017
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Why doesn’t Dunkin Donuts use recycled paper coffee cups?

From the Dunkin Donuts Web Site:
Why doesn’t Dunkin’ Donuts use recycled paper coffee cups?
Dunkin’ Donuts is committed to selling fresh brewed coffee in containers that are safe for the consumer. Our foam cup is one of the strongest in the industry and it insulates better than paper cups we have tested. By using foam, we are reducing the added waste that occurs with double cupping, cup sleeves and/or extra napkins. In addition, foam cups are recyclable, paper cups are not, and we encourage you to check with your local/municipal-recycling program as to whether or not they will accept #6 plastic.

ARGH…Misinformation is such a nightmare.

I recently presented at my Alma Mater for a group of sustainability students and they asked what they could do on campus to make a difference in the solid waste generation on campus. I suggested that they try to get styrofoam cups removed from all food service, starting with Dunkin Donuts.

Well, I thought that I should look this up first…and the above misinformation is what Dunkin Donuts is espousing…

First, while it is true that paper cups cannot be recycled after they have been used, it is equally true that styrofoam cups cannot be recycled after they are used either. More importantly, very few programs exist to take styrofoam in any event.

Why? Well to answer the Dunkin Donuts people who are encouraging your community to subsidize their use of styrofoam by paying for a recycling program to take their product, which it can’t do in any event…the answer is…

It is not economical in any way to recycle styrofoam. Even if collected, it is so light that we would waste more energy moving this material than we could save.

Dunkin Donuts Styrofoam Cups

The Dunkin Donuts website is simply asking you and I to support corporate welfare by putting these programs in place.

I have a better idea…look at some of your more environmentally conscious competitors and learn.

As for us, why not forward this blog to 10 friends and start a petition to get DD to change?

Any takers?

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