Traditionally, sustainability and business would seem to be odd bedfellows. This assumption may stop being true by the end of this decade. In fact it may soon be that the only companies and organizations that can persist, let alone profit, are ones that adopt a sustainable model. Many companies, universities, governments and investment firms are switching to a model that is positive and sustainable – saving money and making profits too. Ivy league universities like Stanford and Yale have been pressured by internal student movements to divest from fossil fuels and opt for renewables instead. Hedge funds around the world are dropping Monsanto, and governments are voting their influence out of their countries. Over the last decade, the largest growth in new jobs was in the nonprofit sector. In 2015, solar and wind energy installations created more jobs than coal and gas combined. The war over solar is the subject of headlines in Forbes and Bloomberg, and some of the biggest names in business are the ones involved in this switch to Renewable Power and transportation. History is being written right now in the green sector, not in fossil fuels and chemical agribusiness.
There is evidence that companies that use socially progressive or environmental business models are increasing in market share and customer loyalty. Positive brand recognition in the present and future will go to companies that demonstrably care.
Here are some ways that adopting more sustainable strategies in your homes and organizations can affect your bottom line. You will also boost loyalty and morale, improve your immediate environment, and help the planet.
The modern home uses kilowatts of energy to heat, light, and run appliances. Businesses, schools and other institutions tend to use even more. This is money that is being wasted, just being given to inefficient old-model power corporations that have no interest in stopping their cash flow by changing their systems.
Eco-innovative building designs, passive solar window boxes, solar panels, solar water-heating, greenhouse features, wind energy and many other little fixes help save money and even turn Renewable Power you are making into a check in the mail from the same power company that would be sending you a bill. Many would be hard-pressed to explain how that is not part of a sound financial plan.
Raising your own food has obvious benefits to the health of your body, family, planet and pocketbook. Food you can grow at home is food you don’t have to buy, that doesn’t get grown whole countries away and shipped here at great expense to all. If you complain about the price of lettuce at your local Safeway, think about the real price before subsidies paid by your taxes help it get there at the price you see on the sticker.
There are hundreds of ways to effectively raise crops in your area, which can include back lots, back lawns and fences, balconies, walls, basements and many others you might have never thought could support a substantial garden. Greenhouse technology and aquaponics can help you raise more local produce in one area than you ever dreamed possible. Permaculture practices and upcycling allow us to create food from waste materials, saving money without having to lay any out.
When you and your family are healthy from eating your own produce, everything can improve – test scores, productivity, attitude – not to mention the wholesome exercise and therapeutic bonding quality of gardening together. By the way, kids love it.
It used to be an axiom that a penny saved is a penny earned, but that has been replaced, at least in IT, with buy a new one – because a better one is out in a month anyway. Part of this is perceived or even forced obsolescence, and it makes sense because it’s been true, thanks to be endlessly dividing powers of silicon that makes new tech better than it was 18 months before.
But, that will cease to be true soon as we are reaching the limits of silicon – true enough, down to the individual atom operating as a switch. We can’t make it smaller and make it still work. Other methods of computing like molecular computers or quantum computers are not available in consumer devices yet and probably won’t be soon.
What I’m saying here is that, in an economical and technological sense, it now benefits everyone to keep their existing computers running. Green tech operations, ecycling, third party or open source hardware manufacturing, and other tools can help you save money and save your computers from landfill.
Saving, storing, and Gathering water makes economic sense too. Using rooftops and gutters to gather rain and moisture for gardening or washing can cut much of your water use, perhaps enable you to expand your food gardening.
We could also harness energy from water coming from rooftops and storm drains, with the force of gravity providing an endless boost to power appliances and turn back meters when the sun isn’t shining because it’s stormy out. Hydroelectric power supplies much of the world, why not micro-sized it and distribute the power to the masses?
On-site wastewater treatment such as the five kingdoms system can create drinking water from contaminated water right where you are. Rain Gardens keep water and habitat open for critters like frogs and herons even in urban environments, also cooling and moisturizing your plants and the air around you when it’s hot. This saves on irrigation and air conditioning.
Above ground or underground rain tank cisterns can be built to supplement or even replace water from a well that could be drawing precious groundwater in areas affected by drought or well permit freezes. It can often be cheaper than sinking a well, and better for the environment. Again, keeping a large amount of water at the surface can help the moisture tension, saturation and even climate of your surroundings.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are other aspects of material life that can be made sustainable with benefit to all, including but not limited to your budget. Much of it takes little to no money up front to implement, it just involves creative thinking about how to more effectively use the resources in your environment. Read more or let us help you go green today and start saving.