(These steps are in no specific order)
1. Reducing the Use of Your Utilities:
a. As you use your electricity, water and gas each day remember how you could use them less. Example: Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth; Showering less than five minutes at least once a week; Turning off the lights when you leave a room; Unplugging anything not in use while you are not home; Only turning on the heat when you can’t use a sweater; Using a microwave instead of a stove to heat something up;
b. Use energy efficient utilities. Example: Install energy efficient shower heads that will reduce the amount of water coming out of your shower; Install energy efficient light bulbs that will lower the amount of electricity you use; Insulate your water heaters so that the heat won’t escape;
c. Use small changes to help lower your energy cost and effect. Example: Use items, such as liners and barriers, to place around drafty windows and doors to prevent heat from escaping; Use a light dimmer on your light switches to lower the energy use; Use a bucket of water, vs. constantly running the water, while washing dishes; Only use the dishwater when it is full;
(All of these will not only lower your energy use, but also lower the cost of your monthly bill.)
2. Recycle Product Containers and Furniture:
a. What you buy, you keep. Example: If you buy a food product that comes in a plastic container with a lid, re-use that container for your leftovers; If you buy a food product in a glass jar, re-use that jar as a drinking glass, vase for flowers, or a storage container; Try to re-use your old furniture by reupholstering it or painting it;
b. What you don’t want or use recycle. Example: If you have too many containers for leftovers, then recycle the container that your food comes in; If your furniture has seen better days and is unable to be painted or reupholstering, then recycle the furniture or break it down and use its materials for something else, like a shelf, or a frame.
Here are some other lists that supply you with ideas of how to reuse items.
Farmers markets are a place for locals to gather together and pick through a selection of locally grown or made vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, nuts, fish, eggs, honey, flowers, etc. The farmers market not only provide products to buy, but most often also supplies live music, food truck vendors, local designers products, and of course your local farmer. The best part about farmers markets is that you get to ask your local farmer questions regarding their products. The farmers who sell at the market brings a face to the food that you eat and you gain a little bit more respect and knowledge about where your food actually comes from.
The farmers may be an important piece to a farmers market for some, but for others it may be the abundance of products that you get to choose from. The days of choosing between the “red apple” and the “green apple” are over because at the farmers market the farmers provide you with fruits and vegetables that you don’t normally see sold in your grocery store. They most often grow many types of a single product, such as the Blue Pearmain Apple, Mutsu Apple, and so on. It beats going to the grocery store once a week and hoping that your food is grown locally, is made organically, and healthy for you like the labels say, and that your grocery store worker will know enough about the farms that the food comes from to provide you with information about sustainable food.
Farmers markets are a positive way to supply your refrigerator with a weekly dose of healthy veggies, fruits, meats, etc. There is much you can learn from your local farmer about which foods are better to eat, depending on the season, and to see a smiling face explaining to you what you are eating rather than a sign at the store. Farmers markets are a sustainable source of buying locally grown products. Help support your local family farms and buy at farmers markets.
The link below is a website called local harvest that will pinpoint a sustainable farmers market or a farm near you.
In Joel Makower and Greenbiz.com “State of Green Business 2012”, they named the common trends of green welfare in 2012. One of the trends that was named was green gamification. Green gamification directly relates to Sustainable References own Sure platform. The word gamification, Makower explains, uses games—earning points, badges or other positive acknowledgements—to get consumers, employees and individuals involved with sustainability. With Sure you gain just that. Depending on how green you are you will gain starting points and then whenever you change to a greener approach you will gain extra points. Not only do you gain points, you share points with businesses as well. This exchange happens when individuals shop at sustainable stores, when sustainable store buy from sustainable farmers, when sustainable business live in a sustainable city and so on. The more sustainable you are the more points you will earn. As you gain more points you feel better about how sustainable you are. Makower talks about the process of gamification and how it not only makes for a fun time, but it feels as though you have made a great accomplishment. Gamification helps change peoples daily habits towards a greener lifestyle. It provides an easier change when your work, community and family members are involved in becoming green as well.
Another trend that Sustainable Reference is working towards is the footprint count. Sustainable Reference does not actually count your carbon footprint, however, one of their end goals is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere by 1% by the end of 2016. The Carbon Footprint calculator gives people an idea of how much carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere based on their daily habits. The scores of individual footprint counts have become a popular incentive to become greener. There are other footprint calculators, along with the carbon footprint, that you can use to test other impacts of your habits.
Other trends talked about in “State of Green Business 2012″ are sustainability counts for CFOs, sustainability consumption gets buy-in, sustainable mobility hits the road, cleantech survives a crisis of confidence, energy efficiency gains star power, ‘big data’ creates big opportunities, sustainable cities take center stage and non-news is good news.
Check out the trend, the carbon footprint and Sure at the links below.
Sustainability is on the rise and with it comes a boost of urban farming. Urban farms could be the solution to not only healthy and easier ways to get food for local communities, but also for the supply that the global community demands to feed the billions of people living in the world today. The farmers who run the urban farms have been using sustainable techniques such as properly using the layout of the land, like contour farming and crop rotation, and growing native plants. The use of the techniques of contour farming and crop rotation keep the soils rich with nutrients and more fertile, meaning no fertilizers or pesticides needed. The native plants work together to help one another grow and to make it into adulthood, supplying the community with better tasting food. The native plants also have a history of surviving well in the local environments of the urban farm. An advantage for urban farming compared to industrial farming is the transportation process. The urban farm requires little to no transportation while the transportation of the food from a large-scale farm to its grocery store location releases an abundance of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. The carbon dioxide then adds to the already high amounts of greenhouse gases that exist in the atmosphere. The urban farm is less likely to be destroyed by a disease, due to its poly-culture growth, is grown locally, and can provide enough food year round for the community. Urban farming is a fairly new concept that will meet the demand that the global community has been looking for. For more information on urban farming and urban agriculture please look at the links below.
The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is so endangered, that experts are not even sure if this species is actually extinct. It was declared extinct until 2004, when people believed to have sighted a few of the population. If some do exist, according to AllAboutWildlife.com, the group is most likely very small (less than 10) and very susceptible to completely disappearing forever.
It is sad because these beautiful birds are in the state they are in now due to over-hunting by humans who wanted their feathers.
If you want to learn more about this species, or if you want to see the top 10 most endangered species list, click on the link below.
SustPro is dedicated to protecting the environment, reducing C02 emissions, and saving polar bears. Humans are the reason why these things need saving in the first place. Not all humans are bad; in fact most of them aren’t.
However, oil excavation in Ecuador has cost human lives, as well as environmental damage that is irreparable. It is important for everyone to hear this story– that’s why I recommend the film: Crude, directed by Joe Berlinger.
It is available for Instant Play on Netflix, but you can also buy the film from the website listed below and part of the proceeds will go to the Clean Up Ecuador Campaign.
Today’s sustainability indicator, 74 percent, is the proportion of Americans who acknowledge that ‘global warming is affecting weather in the United States.’ That’s 5 percentage points higher than a similar survey conducted in March.
-5.8%: U.S. electricity needs met by non-hydro renewable energy.
-3.1%: electricity produced by non-hydro renewables in 2008.
-213: current measure of the UN’s world Food Price Index.
-210: the price threshold associated with a sharp rise in social unrest and food riots.
-50%: world transport fuels replaceable by converting 17.5% of farm waste to biofuel.
1.32 million square miles: Current Arctic sea ice, the least in 33 years of satellite records.
18%: decrease from the previous record-low Arctic ice, recorded in 2007.
330: consecutive months that global temperatures have topped the 20th century average.
626 million: people in India who will still defecate in the open, contributing to superbugs.
251 million: people who gained improved sanitation in the country from 1990 to 2010.
Framework LLC has worked hand-in-hand with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to foster and promote the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines as a GRI organizational stakeholder since 2005 and as provider of reporting and advisory services to our clients for nearly a decade. We are staunch supporters of the principles of materiality, comparability, context, and completeness in public disclosure of environmental, social, and governance information. We have thus viewed the strict application of the GRI guidelines as a replicable pathway for all companies, large and small, to be accountable and transparent in their public communication of sustainability performance.
It’s not easy being green, Kermit the Frog sang. A startup called Sure has a way to make it easier: Give people points for making green lifestyle choices.
The Sure system, which launched today at DEMO Fall 2012, is designed to help individuals, companies, and even whole cities reduce their contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. At every level, people get points for making more eco-friendly choices: buying organically-made bread, riding bicycles instead of driving cars, or using compact fluorescent lighting and environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes. And if you get more points, you qualify for discounts on future purchases.
In other words, Sure makes being green into a sort of game. But here’s where it gets interesting: You can gain more Sure points by frequenting businesses or working for companies that have a lot of Sure points, or by living in a city with a lot of Sure points. Conversely, companies get Sure points for having lots of employees with eco-friendly lifestyles, and cities’ scores rise if they have lots of residents who have high scores.
Read more! I highly encourage you to do so….(VentureBeat)
When men like Adam Smith founded modern capitalist thinking, did they also abandon earlier knowledge of what it takes to foster a sustainable world? Was the wisdom of ancients like Plato lost with the rise of ideas like free markets and the belief that the pursuit of self interest by itself creates a better world? Classical scholar and Princeton Philosophy Professor Melissa Lane makes that case in her book Eco-Republic, published by Princeton University Press.
Lane’s intriguing implication is that sustainability leadership is as much about fostering a new mindset as it is about adopting cleaner technologies or more equitable social policies. Leaders in the ancient world thought and made decisions differently. They understood that they were embedded in an interdependent social web and they knew that their decisions had to take into account not just self interest but the collective interest as well.