What Motivates Companies to Make Environmental Choices? The Bottom Line

Without a federal cap-and-trade program or a national clean energy standard, why do some companies evaluate and reveal their environmental impact? Because it makes good business sense. The “triple bottom line” — which measures success with an eye toward finances, the environment and social impact — is beginning to merge with the plain old bottom line. Saving money means increasing efficiency, and increasing efficiency leads to better environmental decisions.

This trend is seen with such companies as FedEx, which has announced environmental targets to lower emissions. Similarly, UPS is trimming its jet fuel use. Lessening fuel consumption, for both companies, improves the bottom line. Businesses that take such steps are often lauded for their environmental awareness, but does the bottom line — even as it now blends with the triple bottom line — deserve kudos?

Inspiring Sustainability: Check Out This Living Bridge In Meghalaya, India

This lovely short piece is about a Living Bridge in Meghalaya, India. Don't know what a "living bridge" is? Then, check this out.

Sustainability is a concept with many meanings. To designers and architects it means one thing, to economists another, to businessmen something else, and to an ecologist completely something else. Even with diversity of definitions, sustainability comes down to practical elements and a time-line to sustain a process, a structure, an environment, or a business over a long period. To the people of Meghalaya State in northeast India, sustainability means something essential, generational in time, and amazing.

Thomas Friedman on Our Global Impact

"The Earth is Full." That's the title of Thomas Friedman's latest piece in The New York Times, in which he reminds us of the serious effects caused by our growth as a species, and how "full" we've become.

You really do have to wonder whether a few years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st century — when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments were threatened by the confluence of it all — and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?

Going Green: Saying No to Disposable at Mountainfilm 2011

This year we're really trying to walk the walk, which means we're going for BYOE. Bring Your Own Everything.

We won't be providing any single-use disposable bottles, plates or bowls at this year's festival and we will be strictly minimizing use of disposable cups and utensils.

So that means we want you to come prepared. Be it a spork and bowl, your favorite thermos covered in stickers and an old camp plate, or a fork, spoon and tuperware taken last minute from your kitchen, we encourage you to come prepared!

As always, we will also be recycling and composting, and we will be introducing re-usable pass holders and doing away with laminated passes.

We look forward to seeing what you bring!

Thanks to Klean Kanteen and The New Community Coalition for sponsoring this initiative.

Getting Students to Think About Food: New Food Inc. Discussion Guide Distributed to Classrooms

Do people have the right to know what is in their food? Should companies be able to own the DNA contained in plant seeds? When deciding what to eat, how much should we consider the workers who pick, process, and transport our food?

Those are all questions high school students are encouraged to think about in the new Food Inc. Discussion Guide, developed by the Center for Ecoliteracy. A companion to the documentary, the guide will be distributed to schools across the country.

The guide is 102 pages of of thought-provoking and questions that get students talking about health, sustainability, animal welfare and workers' rights.

Interested in checking out the guide? You can download it in either English or Spanish.