Tag Archives: business

Being a green minority…

The concept that people who are green or eco-concious are actually a minority came up at the Lake Tahoe Eco Symposium on Friday.  It’s a concept that at the time I heard, kind of had a hmmm…, aha moment, but as I’ve thought about it and resonated on it, I’m wondering if it is true.

I am so used to being surrounded by environmental awareness and constantly running across books, posts and conversations about sustainability and the green revolution, but is this only me?  Am I really a green minority?

This is a real issue, as I discussed with a colleague at the symposium.  An event titled Eco Symposium is really only going to draw people already interested in the environment.  Most of the people in that room had probably heard about the topics discussed at the event; many were probably experts on the subject matter.  So, how do you get people that are ungreen to turn green?

The idea continued onto Saturday at Earth Day.  I saw many of my eco-concious revolutionaries at the event, but many people that were walking through the Village at Squaw had no idea it was Earth Day – they were simply going skiing as they do every Saturday.

Maybe some of them saw a incandescent light bulb or a blue bag, and thought what is that for?  But did they ask, or keep walking on by…

How can we make being green the norm instead of a minority?

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The Green Chamber of Commerce

Did you know there is a Green Chamber of Commerce?

Apparently, the US Chamber of Commerce is not very environmentally conscious.  Apple and Pacific Gas recently pulled out of the US Chamber due to this fact.

The Green Chamber advocates for green public policy.  They have green networking events, member-to-member benefits, political advocacy, membership directory and partnerships with green media, certification agencies and advocacy groups.

Green Business in the Sierras

Sierra Business Council

Sierra Business Council President Steve Frisch focused his presentation on the challenges facing sustainable business.  He persuaded moving past talk into action.  “We need to balance between regulatory approach and market drivers,” said Frisch.  “The piece driving change currently is non-profit and government non-regulatory.  We need this to flip. We need the courage to lead.”

What drives a better economy?

What is the right thing regarding green business and green development?

What is the new voice of business?

“Restoring resources from beginning to end.  We have to embed this in everything we do.” – Steve Frisch

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Many Shades of Green by Tracey Grose –  NEXT 10

California per capita energy usage has decreased while the rest of the nation has increased energy use.  Why is this?  According to Grose, California leads in innovation and forefront in green technology – it is diverse, growing faster than local economy.  Employment in green business has grown 36% compared to 13% growth in total economy.  A vast array of green economic growth exist – to learn more, download the presentation here.

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Lake Tahoe Prosperity Plan

Trish Kelley presented on the Lake Tahoe Prosperity Plan.  This is a lake-wide collaborative plan to promote economic growth and environmental protection in the Tahoe region.  The Tahoe basin is losing jobs compared to the rest of the region; the existing aged development is contributing to environmental degradation.

“There is a need for a transformation and revitalization of the economy,” said Kelley.  “If we make the right policy to allow business innovation, we can change the trajectory of the economy in the basin.”

“Unfortunately, the basin is not very sustainable,” said Kelley.  “Someone recently said the basin was the brownest green area that they had ever seen, so that is our challenge.”

Read an article about the prosperity plan published in the Sierra Sun.

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“We Can Do This – How Greening CA Businesses will make money for CA Businesses!”

Presented by Hank Ryan – Small Business California

“This room is not full.  This room should be overflowing with people who have these attitudes,” said Ryan.

Small biz must be proactive by being energy smart.  This requires 3 basic tools:

  • energy savings = easily measured
  • access to capital that allows business to invest in energy savings
  • regulations that encourage business to earn profits by saving energy

Ryan discussed “smart meters” – ping information about energy devices in order to save.  This is projected to cut use by 5-10%.  Are you paying the right energy rate as a business? Websites and devices being created to help us power down.   Can computers help in the revolution of energy savings?

Climate Change? A Green Economy?

In my CHS 725 Environmental Health class, we have been discussing the atmosphere and air pollution, along with quite possibly the biggest debate question of my time – does global warming exist and have humans contributed to it?  It seems the majority of people, including scientist and the media are constantly going back and forth on this question, coming up with new evidence and then countering that evidence with yet newer and more complete evidence, only to be countered again and again.  The cycle continues.  I am not a scientist or an economist, and I have in no way ever claimed to even be very good at science.  As my undergrad Public Relations class like to say, “we are not math majors.”

Yesterday, a student in my CHS 725 class presented this article by Paul Krugman from the New York Times about climate change and creating a green economy.  This is my response to his article.  I encourage you to not only read Krugman’s article, but also the comments section.  Please feel free to add your own comments to this post.

One piece of advice that I heard somewhere a few years goes something like this… we hopefully will never be in a car accident, but we have insurance on our cars.  It is not all that likely that our house will burn down, but we still buy insurance for our houses.  Doesn’t it seem like we should put insurance on our planet?

This question really goes beyond political parties.  It doesn’t matter if your Republican or Democrat, the earth is still our planet.  There is scientific evidence that we have increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.  To me, this seems obvious.  All the emissions from our automobiles and factories do not just disintegrate into thin air.  They rise into the atmosphere, causing smog, air pollution, ozone, nitric oxide, sulfuric oxide, particulate matter, along with CO2.

Whether or not you believe global warming is fact or fiction, whether or not your believe it is indeed caused by humans or it is just another cycle of nature, it makes sense to buy into the insurance.  The insurance can be seen in the form of jobs – installing alternative energy and promoting alternative energy equals jobs and economic boosts.  The insurance can be seen in the form of new industry that meets environmental standards or improves existing infrastructures to create less emissions.  The insurance can be seen in the form of creating sustainable agriculture through local owned and operated sustainable farms.  The insurance can be seen in the form of reducing, reusing, recycling, composting.

The what ifs can really be turned into let’s just do this, and everything is connected to the point that there would not only be a boost in the economy, but also in human health and environmental health, along with increasing the insurance policy on our planet – how can that be debated?

Air Force bases booming with green biz

SACRAMENTO – As military bases close because of realignment, many are becoming nothing more than wastelands and Superfund sites. But not in northern California. McClellan. Mather. George. Castle. March. All names with a military past and all on the EPA’s radar to clean what was left behind after years of government service. But the good news is green news, as in the former Air Force bases becoming magnets for green business. Especially true with McClellan, where everything from solar panels to net-energy housing to newspaper recycling has become part of a once-busy landscape filled with aircraft and the machines of the military. This is certainly great news for Northern Nevada too, as the economy begins ramp up and investment money thaws. See the article at http://www.af.mil/news/story_print.asp?id=123192413

Video:Reinventing business the green way

RENO – If you haven’t seen this, then take a couple of minutes to watch this January 2010 newscast concerning environmental business. Or more precisely, how one man has found a niche in saving businesses money – the green way.

Entrepreneur and Small Business Expo March 12

RENO – Ready to pull the trigger on that new green business idea? Contrary to what the biz pages may indicate, tough times can be good times for starting new ventures. And one of the “must attend” events for budding business owners will take place at the Atlantis on Friday, March 12, 2010 – the Entrepreneur and Small Business Expo is free and open to the public. Dozens of vendors will be waiting for you, ready to dole out advice and optimism. Whether or not your business idea is based in environmental or green, many of the necessary hurdles will be waiting to help you climb over and get up and running. Hey, it’s free!!! For more info, go to www.ncetexpo.com or www.eweeknevada.com.