By Alex Shim
Sustainable Investment Group
Now that 2016 is over, it is time for us to look towards 2017. There was a huge growth in the sustainability sector in 2016. 2016 was the year that Paris Agreement became actionable, ocean plastics joined production after being recovered, pollinators became a business issue (honeybees in particular), and leaders of big companies such as Amazon, Pepsi, AT&T, and UPS, have been upping their sustainability commitments.
Mentioned above are International Policies and Fortune 500 companies that are making huge commitments and changes in the realm of sustainability that smaller companies and average households cannot mirror. However, those top companies, at one point, had to start somewhere with the basics as well.
When we talk about sustainability goals, the goals don’t need to be life-changing or grandiose right away. As long as these sustainability goals make you care and take action for the environment, that’s the most important part. Sometimes it is difficult for people who work in the field of sustainability to be sustainable 100% of the time. However, the point of this resolution is to grow in awareness, so that they can take action when they recognize they aren’t being as sustainable as they can be.
I work for an Environmental Consulting firm called Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) and my company does LEED consulting and teaches LEED Exam Prep Classes to spread the knowledge of LEED all over the nation. My company’s consulting and marketing team came up with a few bullet points that can be incorporated into one’s lifestyle when at work or at home. These are very basic points that most people can accomplish.
- Get a Smart Thermostat – this will prevent unnecessary use of energy
- Put aerators on your faucets – this will control the flow rate of the water
- Aerators usually cost $5 / ea.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR appliances and computer monitors for both home and work
- At work, having two monitors will reduce the need for printing
- Remember to shut down all electronics such as computers, monitors, and television when not in use
- Remember to turn off the lights when rooms are not occupied
- Only run dishwasher and the washer when they are full
- Replace older bulbs with higher efficiency light bulbs such as LEDs.
- Make sure to get a recycling bin and know what your local waste company will accept: aluminum, metal, many plastics, glass, paper, or cardboard
This list is very feasible for all of us to take part in advancing sustainability. This simple list is essential because by taking action in some of the bullet points above, we will develop a strong foundation in sustainability. Maybe one day, we will be able to face greater tasks like the ones that Fortune 500 companies are currently tackling. For example, UPS has signed a pledge to plant 15 million trees around the world by the end of 2020. It is very important to set the tone in the beginning of 2017, so that this trend grows positively throughout the year.
SIG already follows all of these bullet points mentioned above and would love to answer any questions that you have regarding possible sustainable resolutions for 2017. In addition, SIG offers these following services: LEED Exam Prep Training, Engineering Services (ENERGY STAR) and LEED Consulting throughout the nation. Please feel free to check out our website or contact us via phone: 404-343-3835.
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