Archive for the “Sustainable” Category

Practices and products that can be used, reused, recycled, renewed in order to support life on earth indefinitely.

It is up to you and me to promote and collaborate with those who are working toward a sustainable life for children of all nations.

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The World Bank has now committed to even more challenging goals on clean energy.

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Green_Bulb01What if you could cut your electric bill in half and be greener at minimal or no net cost to you? Given the innovations, developments and publicity that promote a greener world, it seems inescapable that you have to spend more money to go green. But let’s explore a little deeper.

Let’s ask the tough questions. Why should it cost more for recycled products than for original? Why does a hybrid vehicle cost several thousand dollars more than a conventional when they only improve fuel economy by 10-12%? Why would someone pay $200,000 for a geothermal system to heat and cool their home? Why should it take 10 to 20 years to break even on solar or wind power or solar water heating? Are we really saving our forests by using more expensive non-wood materials? Why do biofuels cost more to produce than petroleum fuels?

The obvious reason that more people are not jumping on the green wagon has to do with financial considerations. In some instances higher costs might be justified by the benefits, but frankly, it is generally cost prohibitive to go green. Sure, Hollywood is full of greenies. It’s free publicity to promote love for the planet and it’s a nice tax break, too!

Forget Main Street, let’s go all the way to my street, where I have to balance my checkbook or go to my online bank site every few hours to track my spending. So what’s my point? There are lots of ways you can go green and save money, and if that’s true, then we should spend some time exploring ways of going green without going broke.

In this blog I want to explode some myths about some much-publicized green ideas. I want to motivate you toward a more sustainable life. I want to give you some food for thought about some obvious and some not so obvious ways you can be green and save some green.

Here are some specific ways to benefit from the green wave without the dramatic switch to renewable energy. First, let’s talk about some things you can do immediately that will “reduce your carbon footprint” and, if you apply them all, you could cut your electric bill by 50% or more. What could you do with that much more disposable monthly income?  Read More . . .green_world02

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Small Loan Programs for Budding Entrepreneurs

microfinance01Repaying loans gives people dignity and confidence. It stimulates goal setting and creativity.  It boosts the integrity of the recipient with a greater chance for responsibility and respectability. Accepting donations makes people feel dependent and powerless. These simple truths have attracted many to get involved in microcredit programs. It is key to the sustainability of thriving communities.

You can see it in the eyes of the borrowers as they complete an application, qualify for and receive a loan, run a small business, repay the lien and apply for another loan. It is a cycle that gives borrowers a strength they could never get from a handout. Microcredit organizations like Grameen Bank, Kiva and Accion are already changing the lives of thousands with these small loans. The initiative of microcredit is capable of establishing the financial health of communities and nations.

We are not far from the day when both small and major investors can have the satisfaction of knowing their money is financing the expansion of sustainable entrepreneurial endeavors as well as paying a return. The International Financial Advisory Group to the Microcredit Industry, which has members with backgrounds in accounting, finance, business and microcredit, is committed to making that possible.

After financing a number of entrepreneurial endeavors the next step is tapping the larger funding sources. Most microcredit organizations depend on donations when they start, but once an organization is a few years old and has documented its ability to recover loans, it can raise money in the financial markets. To do that microcredit organizations must keep meticulous records in accordance with standard accounting practices. A common accounting framework is the CAMEL system, which documents the Capital, Assets, Management, Earnings and Liquidity of an organization.

With accountability in place a relatively small organization with reliable contacts in foreign locations could be financing a multitude of entrepreneurs and revolutionize the economy of targeted regions.

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green-moneyUntil very recently, the overwhelming opinion of the financial world has been that green energy is a great idea but the real money is still to be made in fossil fuels.  That viewpoint is beginning to see the first indicators of change.   Some leaders in financial markets are making bold statements like this:

“For a number of years there has been talk about the importance of sustainable energy, but targets have not been achieved when it comes to creating it. The tide is, however, changing. Government initiatives have an important role to play. We expect renewable energy markets to grow significantly in 2010 and thereafter following the introduction of favorable incentive schemes.”  (6-22-09, Roberto Cominatto, current manager of the Julius Baer Energy Transition Fund.)

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We can build a legacy of improved quality of life for generations yet to come until a truly sustainable plan is fully developed.

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This is my first post.  My zmotion vision is to provide a forum where communities can develop micro economies that will help them compete in local markets, overcome natural challenges and thrive in their region.  I look forward to seeing health, technology, energy, agriculture and business transformations that will achieve sustainable life for more and more people.  I am a follower of Jesus and His Spirit is my constant Guide and Protector on my journey.  Will you go with me?

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