Even if every business in the world stopped pumping C02 into the air, we would still see a negative effect on the land and water from previous actions. This is because, according to Dr. Jeff Schweitzer, a former science adviser to the white house, and author of Beyond Cosmic Dice: Moral Life in a Random World, we are already past the tipping point.
“On the broad level, there are two issues we will face over the next hundred years,” says Schweitzer. “The first is climate change, and independent of that, but related to it, is the move from fossil fuels to a renewable-energy economy; These are critical if we are going to survive.” The problem is that in the United States, as well as many other countries, including Latin America, government funding is very limited.
What this means for small business, is that while today may already be too late for conservation action to save the world from future problems. It is certainly not too late to invest in practices that could help bring your small business to big business success.
Protecting our resources, environment, and land conservation are topics not to be taken lightly. The depletion of some aspects means rising costs for businesses in the future. Land conservation means protecting ecosystems and empowering local groups.
As the world is becoming more proactive in conservation, it is still easier and less expensive for many small businesses to make the necessary changes to meet upcoming requirements. This means that you may have an upper hand at preparing your business for customer appreciation and future growth, and here are a couple tips to help get you there.
Work with Renewable Resources- “Consider that not a single artifact salvaged from the Titanic was plastic,” says Schweitzer. “But they are ubiquitous now; They are found everywhere, including computers, cell phones, pens, carpets, flooring blinds, credit cards, cars, and plastic bags.” While plastics were once cool, today’s awesome is returning to the basics, such as offering products consisting of renewable resources, like coconuts and bamboo.
Research by Baylor University has shown that adding coconut fiber to plastic products can increase their rigidity by as much as 60 to 70 percent. Coconut oil is also a renewable resource for baked consumer goods. Many favorite consumer products are finding themselves on the blacklist if their ingredients includes palm oil, which has been connected to deforestation and the destruction of the orangutan habitat.
Invest in an Energy Efficient Work Zone- It can be expensive to modify large companies to meet improved energy efficiency. However, with the small business, subtle changes can make a big difference, and at a much lower cost. LED light bulbs in place of incandescent use less energy and last up to 15 times longer. Automatic/programmable thermostats keep your staff comfortable, while maintaining improved energy efficiency during the off hours.
Occupancy sensors are another great investment for small businesses, as they can turn off lights and electric devices when they are not in use. Solar and wind power have grown in innovation over the last decade. You may be surprised to find that some of the ingenious devices that have been developed over that time are actually quite convenient, aesthetically pleasing, and cost effective.
Big business may currently be holding all the cards, but that is also their greatest weakness. It will be the small upcoming businesses that will gain the greatest favor from government and consumers in the coming years, especially if you use your current compact size to stay one step ahead of the conservation game.