Planet EcoBusiness

Merging calculations and ideas into something eco-brilliant.

Pens and the Environment November 4, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts,General Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 3:08 PM

I recently realized that I have been paying more attention to the little things that I never would have looked at more than once. One of these is the writing and never ending graphics and advertising found on pens. I have always ignored the meaning behind the tiny letters found on pencils, pens, and other writing instruments. I read them once and never really think why it is there. Why is it there? People misplace pens all the time, so what is the purpose? Other than an easy marketing strategy, I think there is more meaning behind these advertising strategies. What’s printed on the pens actually make the audience think-think about why the information is there and what it serves as.

My mom recently asked me if I wanted pens from a real estate expo she attended a couple of weeks ago. My initial reaction was, “Why would I want pens?-I have a ton of them!” However, as I looked over which pens I wanted, I noticed that a few pens related to the theme of my blog. Environment. Renewables. Recycling. Green. These are important keywords for businesses that are beginning to “go green”. While this can be challenging in some ways to promote, the advertising on products that the public uses daily (such as pens) can catch the attention of many people including myself. In this case, the first thing that caught my eye was the use of the coloring. I saw the color green everywhere on the pen. The pen has a dark-green tip and end with light green writing in the middle of the pen. Then as I flipped the pen, I found this common message- “Made with 71% pre-consumer recycled plastic”. And of course, the pen provided a link for marketing. I checked out this link and it is interesting to see how the National Association of Realtors has begun to incorporate different elements of an environmental-friendly business environment in real estate. They have networks to connect realtors together and even a whole page dedicated to why going green is vital to the future success of businesses and a rewarding future. Even minimal business products such as pens can make a difference in the long run.

NAR’s Green Designation website: http://greenresourcecouncil.org

The same concept works for larger entertainment industries such as Disney. Just a few days ago, my roommate gave me a Disneyland pen that she had received at work. She was given a huge batch of these Disneyland eco-friendly pens and she didn’t know what to do, so she gave them to her friends. The pen is simple and has a very eco-friendly feel to it. Similar to the pens my mom gave me, the tips are dark green and really stand out from other pens. (more…)

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“To Do Well By Doing Good” October 28, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 1:58 PM

Sometimes I feel as if all the possible ideas in the world for turning businesses into a more environmental-friendly company or corporation has already been experimented with or promoted to the general public. Although we see certain products such as eco-friendly thermal cups and reusable grocery bags, we are not really making a huge impact yet.

“To Do Well By Doing Good”. This is an important phrase that Stephen Schneider said. In an online article titled “Alums Explore Eco-Friendly Business Ventures” by Michele Chandler (found on Stanford University’s School of Business website) , Stephen Schneider is one important figure mentioned in the article along with many other professionals, professors, and experts. He is a scientist and professor who strongly believes that businesses can connect to the idea of saving the planet and still earning profits along the way. This is an important aspect of the business world since businesses commonly don’t want to risk the huge shift in business operations. This is definitely understandable, but businesses can gain benefits and show the public that it is possible to think eco-friendly.

The article also introduces Ade Dosunmu, an alum of Stanford University who, at the time that this article was written in (2008), was creating a new way to let households measure the amount of energy each household consumes. Although he was in the early stages of creating this method two years ago, we obviously don’t tend to see people using it regularly. This gap in participation from consumers is where we can learn from each other and build up on new methods to increase participation in the “go-green” movement. In addition, Stephen Paradis is another important figure who, at the time was trying to find ways to go green at his own workplace. For example, he believed that “encouraging the thousands of park volunteers to carpool when coming to perform cleanup and maintenance work on the trail or using low-emission vehicles to haul supplies”. This is important because although we carpool nowadays, there isn’t enough emphasis on how small actions such as carpooling can eliminate pollution and save the planet.  The article also mentions many other important figures with a huge role in connecting businesses to saving the world. These individuals are working hard to make the world a better place by taking action and contributing their ideas and opinions to the cause. If every one can participate in one way or another, businesses can change the materials they use and base their ideology and supply on environmental-friendly factors.

The first link provided is for the article stated above. The second link is a website called “Call2Recycle” in which anyone can recycle their old cell phones and batteries. I thought this would be useful to include because my family has many cell phones that are just sitting around in my house. It would be benefiting a global environmental cause if we could recycle those old cell phones. There are more details about how to recycle these cell phones and what types of batteries are accepted.

1) http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/bmag/sbsm0805/feature-ecofriendlybusiness.html

2) http://www.call2recycle.org/home.php?c=1&w=1&r=Y

 

Turn of the Green October 21, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 11:31 AM

Will businesses that are beginning to alternate their business office environment into a more eco-friendly surrounding really be benefiting to the business itself? Is technology always beneficial in helping to save the environment?

These are just two common questions that many businesses are facing. I’ve been wondering about this for a few weeks now. It seems that everywhere I go, I see some new kind of way of protecting the environment. In business offices, larger business buildings, movie theaters, and even stores, it is common for the restrooms to have the automatic toilet flusher where the toilet has a sensor and flushes automatically. In positive ways, this method is more sanitary and much more convenient. However, I also wondered if there were any negative affects of this automatic toilet flusher. I looked it up and came up with this: Sometimes the sensor automatically flushes when there’s any sort of movement. This wastes the electricity running the automatic flusher and the water whenever the sensor senses something and flushes repeatedly. According to Green Prophet, “this product is a perfect example of where people’s needs conflict with the environment, but then again it’s the balance that’s important”.

The automatic toilet flusher is a simple example that is sometime seen by the general public as an “environmental friendly” product, but instead its function wastes natural resources such as water and energy in the form of electricity. A resourceful article found on GreenBiz.com states five different points explaining how going green helps maintain a business and why it helps in the long run.

Basically, it seems to be all about a “sustainability strategy” that mirrors a business that grows alongside its environmental goals, meaning that adding a focus on becoming environmental friendly will help the business itself. This is really interesting because I would think that it takes time, effort, and money to produce and follow a sustainability goal. GreenBiz notes that as government regulations are imposed on these businesses, there will be an even greater need for these businesses to seek new ways to develop an environmental business surrounding. Additionally, energy bills are also increasing, so a new way of conserving energy would be very profitable to the office environment. GreenBiz adds how many times younger generation of workers create new innovations that continue to bring up new ideas or systems to protect our natural resources. Similar to the amount of water and electricity the automatic flusher wastes, it’s reasonable to come up with  news ways of incorporating the environmental-friendly products into the office environment.

Although many of these reasons apply more to smaller and middle-sized companies, it’s still important for all types of businesses because our views are changing and we can already see changes going on in different businesses around the world. Whether it’s changing the theme of the business to a greener theme or changing smaller aspects of the business such as energy-saving lightbulbs, the change will begin a trend that may change the world over a short period of time.

The images below show a different type of eco-friendly architecture compared to what we’re used to seeing. The first is an image showing the interior of this “green-architecture” office building. We can see that half of the building depends on natural light from the sun. The second image shows a different angle of how the building looks from the outside. The building uses natural energy to light the room and glass walls so that these office workers inside the building can experience the natural world around them.


 

Business Venture October 14, 2010

Filed under: General Posts,Life Outside the Blog and Inside the Dorm — Planet EcoBusiness @ 12:11 PM

A friend of mine has a great idea of opening a small entertainment -and- dinner type restaurant or cafe. She already ran this idea to a few others including myself. Her parents have years of experience from opening their own restaurant. As of right now, we obviously cannot move forward in any way because we’re full-time University students. Also, it seems that only a quarter of us are interested in pursuing this idea in possibly ten to twenty years. The friend who proposed this idea really wants to open this restaurant business someday in the future and is extremely interested in making it happen.

So I thought this would be interesting to tie in to this business and environmental blog. My friend has discussed some ideas and for right now, there’s only a rough outline of what this business venture will be. For now, the majority of the group has made a decision not to move forward. The others that have taken an interest are already suggesting a creative twist that would be intriguing for people of all ages. Some of them have suggested a fancy theme that would appeal to a more specific age group. I have a suggestion for the restaurant to have a “green” theme and include decorations that are environ

mental-friendly and at the same time promote the idea of environmental awareness within the business. I have a neutral role in this business venture because I’m not against the idea. However, I think we should focus on our studies and make school our first priority. However, I’m bringing this up because this is an opportunity for me to explore problems that occur in businesses such as restaurants.

For example, in terms of this restaurant proposal, one of the greatest challenge is actually starting the business and making sure that there is enough profit so we can spend it on fo

od and materials such as menus and utensils. There are other challenges such as making sure that certain

health requirements are met and that employees

are well-trained and prepared for before serving the customers. I believe that customer satisfaction is really important and many times business entrepreneurs and managers

 

overlook this area. And then there are other dilemmas such as sharing the profit (if applicable) and maintaining a balanced cash flow.  (more…)

 

TreeHugger October 13, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts,General Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 4:46 PM

What do you think of when you hear the word, “treehugger”? In fact, it can literally be translated as a person who hugs a tree. Or perhaps, a person who loves the environment. In more detail, a “treehugger” can be thought of as someone who is environmentally aware of protecting natural resources.

In a few posts back, I mentioned a useful blog site, greenbiz.com. I was researching businesses that have incorporated the idea of “going green” in their office environment when I realized that a blog named TreeHugger came up several times in my research. Both blogs have a similar purpose and matching ideas. You should definitely see what they offer, but I’ll mention some aspects of the blog that I really liked.

First of all, supposedly it’s a very well-known blog that gains 10 million viewers every month. What is so amazing about this blog?  I love seeing blogs with lots of interaction features because the readers can really communicate with other users and pass around different insights that may change the world sometime in the future. There are forums that can give the host feedback to how they can improve their blog site. This is important because the readers’ questions can be answered, and the blog writers are open to constructive feedback. This is important because the readers’ questions and opinions matter. Perhaps this is why the blog has succeeded in its purpose. The site’s editors have open ears to new advice, which they can use to improve or make the blog even better than it already is.

Other parts that really stand out are the graphic images and general design in the blogs. Most of the blogs have clear graphics that depict what the editors are blogging about. I also want to mention  the “How to Go Green” tab that really caught my attention when I first explored this site. I was so surprised to find different categories that can allow readers of all ages to become involved right away. For example, they have categories such as “Hybrid Cars” and “Alternate Energies”. Hybrid cars and alternate energies are still in the process of being researched and created. They also connect to the business world because businesses promote these items. In depth, there are many more parts to this, but in general, areas of marketing and advertising strategies would also be needed to introduce these products to the public. Especially today, these are small things that are vital in saving the planet. This blog does a really fabulous job of presenting this knowledge and providing links and other resources for all readers that might be interested.

 

“Stuff” We Buy and Use October 7, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts,General Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 11:03 AM

Have you ever came across this question, “Why do we buy what we buy?” Honestly, I’ve never thought about this question myself. I don’t know about everyone else, but there doesn’t seem to be a straightforward answer. What if I told you that, surprisingly, there is a very reasonable answer? Well, you can determine this in just a few minutes.

One of my professors recently presented a video clip titled “Story of Stuff: How Things Work, About Stuff”. I thought it was simply going to be another informational video with facts that I already have heard of before. However, I was entirely wrong; I thought everything in the video clip was interesting to learn about. Although the video itself is a little lengthy, it’s worth 22 minutes of your time.

Basically, Annie Leonard details the whole idea of consumerism and how this affects the environment and consumers in negative ways. Beginning from extraction, to production, then to distribution, to consumption, and lastly to disposal, we can learn about this “system of crisis”. There are many other parts of this video that are worth learning and knowing, but I’ll mention the important parts I found most fascinating.

Since we have limited resources and land to produce products and meet consumerism demand here in the US, we migrate to other Third World Countries and cut down their trees and expend their resources as well. While we’re doing so, not only are we “trashing their place”, the harmful and dangerous chemicals that flow into the air are travelling back to the land we live on. Also, toxic pollutants such as B.F.R.’s (Brominated Flame Retardants) are found in common and unexpected household items such as the comfortable pillows and couches we sleep or sit on. Additionally, the video discusses the idea of “Planned Obsolescence and Perceived Obsolescence”. These keep the idea of consumerism flowing. Definitely go through the video and see how this affects all of us.

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Props to Tocco September 30, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 12:19 PM

I came across this article that made me realize just how much energy we’re consuming. In the small town of Tocco Da Casauria, Italy, wind turbines are successfully producing  high efficiency, low-cost energy. Since the town is located in a mountainous range, the passing winds help the small town conserve and surprsingly produce more electricity than they use. What’s really amazing about this is the fact that it’s the beginning of a new type of renewable energy that not only saves money, but produces profit as well. Now, the town doesn’t need to pay taxes or extra fees because the profit they earn from leasing the land to private turbine companies and the part of the profit from the turbines is enough to run the town. This “highlights the way that shifiting energy economies are often more important than national planning in promoting alternative energy”. Not only that, the town is depending on solar energy to run their cemeteries and sports complex. Can you imagine how much energy we can save each day if the majority of the towns are moving in this direction?

Not only is this a very sophisticated advancement in technology, we’re saving the environment! The common trend is maintaining a business surrounded by environmental-friendly products. If businesses and entrepreneurs can promote and emphasize the idea of “going green” in their businesses, many other people would take into account that these businesses are willing to preserve the environment, and so should we. Now that we have advanced so much in terms of technology, it seems that a lot of times,  we’re only going green because it seems like it’s what we’re supposed to do. With the issues of global warming rising, I think it’s important to save resources so we won’t run out in the future. After all, we depend on natural resources just as much they depend on us too.  If a small town like Tocco can already achieve so much in terms of saving the energy, it would be a huge step if a network of businesses choose to run their companies in a similar way. Here’s the link to the article “Ancient Italian Town Has Wind at Its Back” if you would like to view the article in detail.