What does a Sustainable Business look like? It’s a business that considers the environmental, social, and economic impacts of business actions and decisions. Read about the U.S. EPA’s path towards greener business practices, including an excellent chapter on the history of the Sustainability movement, in a new report. Tree-Free Download. (Now that’s Green!)
How do the three sustainability pillars–environmental, social and economics impacts–factor into your business’ operations and bottom line?
Being green is a continuum of choices, especially during the holidays. Air travel to see family or stay-close-to-home? New technology toys or thrift store find? Lights-a-pa-looza or a solo window candle to shine in the darkness?
We might not agree on all points but there’s common ground to be found for saving energy and saving money.
The EPA offers some constructive suggestions for doing both this holiday season, from being water-thrifty when doing the Thanksgiving dishes to choosing earth-friendly DfE-labeled products (readily available at most supermarkets and Big Box stores).
On the greener side of the scale, minimalist Leo Babauta suggests a No New Gifts approach and offers connection-building, creativity-sparking, fun-affirming ways get more enjoyment from the holiday season.
Two half marathons this year and one to go, I run in Brooks sneakers. Brooks Adrenaline. Fourth pair. Running happy.
But I might be changing my mind about what kicks I buy. An NPR radio story yesterday caught my ear about how emerging trade deals with Pacific Rim nations might affect U.S.-based manufacturing jobs.
Did you know that New Balance manufactures many of its shoes in Skowhegan, Maine? I didn’t.
While my beloved Brooks come out of a clearly conscientious concern for the environment and fair trade practices, they are stitched a half world away.
It got me thinking about our buying choices and the ripple impact they can have our global economy.
I’ve test-run New Balance shoes and know that they are a good fit for me. So maybe in a few hundred miles I’ll give a pair of them a try.
No matter what, I’ll be buying my next pair, and the ones after that, at the locally owned athletics store that is exactly 3.2 miles from my front door.
Whatever shoes you choose, run happy.
(For the kicks in your life that have lost their bounce, you can send them on to a new life: Soles4Souls has drop-off locations near you.)
Many thanks to New Jersey-based Community Green, an all-volunteer eco-coalition, for a comprehensive list of green businesses, resources, media outlets and retailers.
Community Green Links
Join the Community Green Meetup Group
Today, as much as half of the price of solar energy is made up of non-hardware costs. (U.S. Energy Department) These soft costs include getting financing, hiring contractors, securing permits, connecting with utilities and passing inspections. Every trip to the bank, every delay, every snag in the paperwork contributes to the project’s final cost.
To jump start a decline in these non-hardware costs, the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative announced today that it is investing approximately $7 million over 18 months in a new SunShot Incubator Program for Soft Cost Reduction.
Have you encountered hitches, hold-ups and hindrances on the solar path for your home or business? Or even better, what are your recommendations for a smooth, cost-efficient process?
My scarlet runner beans race skywards every year, grown solely for the hummingbirds they bring. Each fall, after they have dried to rattling husks in the chill November breeze, I pick the best plumpest reaching-most pods. These are the winner for that year’s sun, soil, pest and wind competition. Not that scarlet runners are hard to grow, but in 5, 0r 10 or maybe 25 years I will have created seeds that are ideally suited for the rotten crabby spot I allot them.
Super magic hummingbird-bringing beans, if you will. With a little piece of me, or at least my choices, in their genetic code.
In his latest New York Times essay, with his typical mastery, rural-observer Verlyn Klinkenborg charts the journey of the Tuscarora people and the corn they have planted for hundreds of years in whatever ground they call home.
“In the history of the Tuscarora, there is an unbroken garden leading from the past to the present, for the only certain way to ensure the vitality of this year’s seed is to bury it and wait for it to come up as next year’s seed.”
Read the essay.
I let my guard down.
If you’ve ever had your garden attacked by a deer, you can sympathize with this heart-sinking feeling. Oh no. Oh deer.
Here’s my July 2011 Patch column about deer decimating by vegetable patch, and what I did about it.
Do I replant or relinquish?
This Patch.com column is a seasonal round-up of ways to keep digging through the fall and beyond.
For entry-level basil and tomato gardeners, the natural withering and fading seem like Nature’s way of saying, “Hang up the trowel, it’s over.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Consistently cool Fall days are the best time of year for planting perennials and trees, not to mention the right time for spring flower bulbs and garlic.
Whether you plant a tree, a shrub, some bulbs, a row of garlic, or even just a pot of mums, fall is all about putting energy back into the garden after the summer harvest.
A time to plant, a time to reap
—The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes
My Patch.com column this week is a round-up of Northern New Jersey early summer garden harvests.
I enjoyed writing it because it gave me a chance to reach out to local gardener friends and ask, “What are you eating from the garden this week?”
My hope is to inspire new gardeners to get growing.
For those readers without the time, space or inclination to garden, I promoted our area’s newest CSA and our town’s Farmer’s Market.
Read my Patch.com column.
The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.
— Michael Pollan