Preserving our planet: How to celebrate the environment every day
Greenhouse gases are at an all-time high. Although some gases are naturally present in the atmosphere, such as water vapor, ozone, methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, human activities have created a new set of greenhouse gases (GHG) that are negatively affecting the ozone layer. GHGs are making it easier for the sun’s harmful UV rays to pass through, which has resulted in global warming.
The United States is among the world’s worst offenders when it comes to GHG emissions per capita, according to the United Nations Statistics Division. In 2008, the U.S. emitted 22.22 GHG per capita, which was a 13.3 percent increase from 1990.
One thing Americans can do to change is to support environmentally friendly mandates and legislation that are specifically targeted at large businesses and manufactures, since they tend to be the largest producers of GHG. Some companies are already striving to reduce their environmental footprint.
For example, The American Trucking Association (ATA) has a sustainability initiative called “Trucks Deliver a Cleaner Tomorrow,” that focuses on reducing fuel consumption and finding innovative ways to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. The organization’s goal is to reduce fuel consumption by 86 billion gallons and carbon monoxide emissions by 900 million tons for all vehicles by 2018, according to Bill Graves, ATA’s CEO and president.
Other companies like ECORE, a recycled flooring manufacturer, are producing products in an environmentally friendly way. “We are committed to operating our business and facilities in a manner that uses resources wisely,” says Arthur Dodge III, ECORE chairman and CEO. “We have developed energy-efficient manufacturing processes that use minimal water and little or no heat, and we reuse our scrap to minimize waste.”
ECORE’s state-of-the-art equipment and manufacturing processes also improve the quality of its products and increase energy efficiency. By incorporating these proprietary methods, ECORE uses 40 percent less energy than standard industry procedures. The amount of natural gas conserved each year could service 120 average American homes.
The second thing Americans businesses can do to be more eco-friendly is to strive to implement their own green practices, such as recycling paper and using energy efficient light bulbs. The U.S. Small Business Administration has even developed a Small Business Guide to Energy Efficiency that offers tips, advice, and resources on how to help companies do this.
The third thing Americans can do to make the earth a better place is to be more conscious of their own impact on the environment. There are many simple things people can do every day in order to be conscientious consumers, according to Green America, a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to harness economic power to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Aside from buying green products and recycling, Green America offers easy, sustainable tips, such as how to make nontoxic cleaners to air drying your clothes and how to choose energy efficient appliances over conventional models. “Going green” doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and simple changes can have a positive impact.
To learn more about ECORE and its mission to create solutions that are both environmentally friendly and sustainable, visit www.ecoreintl.com.