Climate Change on the Front Burner
When I listened to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, his mention of climate change – front and center – made my jaw drop. I never thought I’d see the day. Perhaps now, initiatives to address this critical issue will move ahead.
But the transition to a greener, more sustainable way of life can’t come just from Washington. Happily, there are signs all around us – here in Tampa Bay and far beyond – that people on a local level are making things happen.
For example, this past month I have been privileged to:
- Blog for the Sustany Foundation about companies that have achieved the Green Business Designation from the City of Tampa. So far, they include a restaurant, hair salon and spa, and commercial cleaning company. These companies demonstrate what can be done today to re-invent businesses sustainably.
- Attend the second annual Green Living Expo at Grace Lutheran Church. The range of businesses represented – from grass-fed beef to the local power company (TECO) to a local recycling company – just scratches the surface in terms of how many sectors of the economy already have green players.
- Edit an ebook for a new client. I marvel that my client isn’t local, yet she emailed me her book and I sent it back revised – without paper, without postage, without greenhouse gas emissions, and without delay. When she publishes, her readers can choose to read it on an electronic device and not kill any trees. That’s a win for me, for my client, for her readers and for the world at large.
That is business in a more sustainable world. What’s not to love?
A Huge Opportunity
Climate change represents a huge opportunity to re-think every aspect of our lives – homes, schools, businesses – and profit in doing so. The way we live, the way we buy, the way we dispose of things. Whatever part of life or work you enjoy, find a greener way to do it, and you are likely to find a market.
When I chat with green business owners, their passion, smarts and energy shine through. They are not pie-in-the-sky dreamers. They have businesses that have to meet a payroll and make a profit. Yes, today, some aspects of “going green” cost more than doing business conventionally (ask me about my business cards.)
But that challenge doesn’t stop them. Their expertise and innovation come together to find ways to balance “doing the right thing” with being a going concern. And tomorrow will be different, and better, because the transition to green will bring prices down and expand the market.
Going green isn’t about being nice or being elitist. It’s about keeping our planet a habitable place for us and generations to come. Catastrophic events like Superstorm Sandy and last year’s epic droughts are happening now. It will take all of us working together to navigate the rough weather ahead and come out OK on the other side.
With so much to do, the possibilities are endless. How do YOU plan to contribute?