Posts Tagged “life”

Is there quantifiable evidence that green is gaining momentum? The question only requires that you take a superficial look around in the business community to see it.

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Leaders are absorbed in designing a master plan, orchestrating the intricacies of that plan and motivating others to help accomplish that plan.

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Lily pads multiply exponentially. They begin growing in the spring with very sparse coverage and by late summer they can look like this. One day you could come to the pond and where you saw gaps yesterday, the whole pond is covered today.

The recession has made living a greener life more fashionable. People are cutting back on driving, exercising more, eating healthier and even taking up gardening to save money –- or just to be current. Making that a more enduring lifestyle is easier than changing the marketplace, but only because of individual initiative. The energy of that initiative could just be the catalyst that propels us into a greener society.

We may be on the cusp of a real paradigm shift that will take us back to organic healthy practices, lift us up to be more responsible citizens and launch us into the creativity of more efficient, greener products that advance us to greater heights of achievement and quality of life.

At the moment less than 20% of our Fortune 500 corporations have really made green strides, even though all companies have at least dabbled in green or have fulfilled the required greener compliance adjustments. What we are beginning to discover, however, is that there is a fresh approach to the marketplace. A common awareness of the problems associated with a non-green mindset and the possibilities that greener products and practices provide is becoming the correctional modifier that engenders spontaneous collaboration of management, workforce and consumers to set new standards and, simultaneously, create real growth in the economy. It would not be the first time that remediation measures resulted in a pressure cooker environment that re-invigorates a fresh approach to a quagmire of repetitious activity and gives birth to a sustained renewal.

Trade shows are mushrooming with green ideas that have been turned into green products and innovative solutions. If you haven’t been to one recently, take my suggestion to attend and make a mental note of all the innovative ideas that are being brought into the marketplace. Yes, there’s much work yet to be done, especially in the US. The average American still consumes twice as much fuel each year as the average European. We’re pretty spoiled. We have large houses and several cars and we use them to make lots of trips to buy any little thing and shop for the next thing that catches our eye.

Not that those things are so bad, but if we could convert some of that energy into personal productivity and consciously seek ways to green up, we could absolutely regain what has been lost in our economy. At the same time we would live longer, healthier, happier lives. What we would find is a new passion for living emerging from within. Creative juices would begin to surprise us with new ideas and innovations. Sensitivity for the burdens of others would cause us to make a real difference in our home, our workplace and our community.

Even now, this can be witnessed to some degree in corporate America. More companies are working on sustainability standards for their own company and then assuming the leadership to show their suppliers how to make greener products, biodegradable packaging, greener, less toxic chemicals and other areas that are still being defined.

A good illustration of this is triple-concentrated laundry detergent. It does a better job cleaning, costs less and is chemically less toxic to the environment than the product it replaced. On the shelf it might look like it costs more, but if you do the math you will see the savings.

Green advancements in lighting is another area where leaps are taking place. LED’s (light emitting diodes) are super-efficient bulbs that use 10 to 30 times less energy than incandescent bulbs. They may seem a bit pricey, but they last for 35,000 hours –- at 3 hours a day average, that’s over 25 years. Incandescent bulbs last only about 1,000 hours. Even if you were to spend $20 for one of these 6-watt bulbs (equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb), you are saving money in just a very short time.

That, my friend, is crossing the rubicon of irreversible green momentum. One green idea sparks another and one day, when you least expect it, economic and environmental recovery becomes a reality.

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Academia is all about correct analysis and thorough treatment of every aspect of an issue. It has its place in historical perspective and in teaching the most appropriate course of action to take in future situations. On the other hand, leadership is about taking action now to prevent or to resolve issues.

When the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded and the well casing collapsed on April 20, 2010, leaders with capable technologies immediately popped up from all over the nation and all over the world to help resolve the single most devastating environmental disaster in US history. Their offers were categorically refused by both the US government and by British Petroleum. The delayed and feeble efforts of BP to accomplish single-handed control of the ruptured well head and clean up the spreading oil spill have been apparently beyond their capabilities.

BP’s CEO Tony Hayward seems to place his leadership as far away from the Gulf of Mexico as possible, dodging specific questions about the incident or personal involvement with the restoration process. Over the last 5 years BP has been cited for over 750 safety infractions by OSHA compared to less than 10 infractions charged to major US petroleum companies. I would say that there is much to know here and not much of a way to find out. Bottom line seems to be a leadership void in this situation. A 20 billion dollar restoration fund administered by a third party seems to balance the scales of justice somewhat, but the demonstration of responsible leadership to correct the multitude of problems connected with this disaster is sadly missing.

Now, it is clear that millions of gallons of crude oil will drift to shore for a stretch of hundreds of miles along the Gulf Coast for an undetermined period of time — perhaps for years. As it creeps from open waters to land it is destroying incalculable numbers of aquatic life, both plant and animal. The suffocating slime is damaging ecosystems and shutting down fishing and shrimping and tourism and is amassing more damages every day. 2010 may well be long remembered as the year that, for all practical purposes, shut down the Gulf Coast economy. I can’t leave this sad thought dangling, so I am compelled to stand and applaud the efforts of thousands of volunteers and organizations who are working so valiantly to clean up the beaches and shores of the Gulf to at least ward off some of the damages of the daily assault from the waterborne sludge.

Watch this report from an Australian news agency that gained exclusive access:

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Had at least some of these most promising solutions been implemented, it is easily possible that well over 90% of the crude oil could have been recovered in open waters and prevented from reaching landfall. Even though blame will be assigned and some form of justice demanded, this is not the time for finger-pointing. It is the time for real leadership to step up and bring effective measures to bear on the situation at hand. It is time to create employment opportunities to help remedy the damaged environment. It is time for good old American volunteerism to shine its brightest. It is time to attack the problem with sustainable solutions that bring life and hope and restoration.

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earth_20102010 was heralded by the Environmental Protection Agency to be the year for clean air and water standards to reach a near-perfect status. ‘2010 – A Space Odyssey’ [‘Odyssey Two’ MGM-1984], portrayed a joint US-Russian space mission that miraculously ended the US-Soviet cold war in 2010. In reality, only 7 years after the movie’s release, 1991 marked the actual collapse of the Soviet Union, ending the cold war era. According to George Orwell, 1984 was an extremely troubled time depicted by the novelist [in 1949] as a world submerged in a totalitarian police state.

What do we learn from these historical perspectives? We can conclude that it is difficult at best to predict how history will play out. We can also conclude that people can alter historical outcomes when sufficiently educated and motivated. Earth’s environment has a long way to go to reach a perfect status. People are more environmentally conscious today. Industry has made environmental progress. The world, for the most part, is far from becoming a police state.

What it does reveal is that history, though unpredictable, can be affected by informed, determined individuals. These individuals, fueled by an unquenchable passion, will assume the leadership to enjoy sustainable life in the arenas of energy, business, agriculture, health, the environment and personal development.

Technology advances at a rate that is parallel to its demand. Organic gardening and farming practices will flourish in tandem with a demand for fresher, more nutritious organic produce. Fish farming will expand, coupled with growing concerns about toxicity levels in seafood from oceans. Organic livestock production will increase as more health concerns emerge because of animals raised with growth hormones. Renewable energy sources will blossom in every community as individuals realize the benefits of clean, affordable and sustainable power.

2010 will be the year that passionate people like you and me make the responsible decision to become involved and make a difference in the status of our local communities and the world we live in. Don’t be jaded into thinking that things are just going to happen with or without you and that you can’t make a difference. It doesn’t really matter whether your leadership affects only 2 other people or 2 billion. You will make a difference if you decide to do it.

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what you do with your money actually says more about what you believe than what you say

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industries that produce consumables must employ green business practices to assure the continuity of the natural resources that feed their industry.

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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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To keep growing is the secret of sustainable living.

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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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