With cost and environmental issues on everyone's mind, The Gaia Movement USA maintains that the surest way to address both points is through reducing waste and achieving sustainability. Not only can individuals and communities seek economic and environmental improvement in their practices, but so can businesses. Through a number of means, including producing their own needs, reducing waste, reusing resources when possible, recycling where possible, and using greener methods wherever possible, businesses, too, can create a more sustainable environment, and see economic return for their efforts.
Business owners may wonder if creating a sustainable process for their company is worth the effort. By all accounts, it is, on a number of levels: positive contribution to the environment and the well-being of the Earth, improved corporate image in the eyes of the customer base, and, perhaps of greatest import to many businessmen, lower costs and more profit in the long term.
The Gaia Movement USA, which has worked since 1999 to help businesses achieve this goal, reports seeing a number of projects reach success.In a recent public statement, the group explained, “Our mission is to create awareness about the plight of the environment; to educate the young and the old in caring for our planet, humanity and the environment; to run recycling programs and to support environmental projects and programs locally and globally.” For companies that may be on the fence about undertaking the process to become more self-sustaining, the Gaia Movement offers some advice about the many reasons doing so is advantageous for a business.
For many businesses, the primary reason is the bottom line.Sustainability means not depending on outside resources to survive, which is to say not spending money on outside resources to survive.While a business may find it has an initial outlay, in the long run the Gaia Movement USA posits that it is financially advantageous to strive for sustainability.The company will reduce or completely eliminate the costs of storing, transporting, and disposing of waste products.
The Zero Waste Project reiterates this point with further support, noting that aside from direct savings, a company that reduces its waste and pollution also reduces its own risk of being hit with fines for noncompliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations and guidelines, as well as any local ordinances for similar crimes.
Furthermore, sustainability and lack of waste naturally is good for the earth.When there is no waste, there is no waste disposal, and natural resources aren’t being used to excess.Protecting the environment is in everyone's best interest, and that applies to businesses, too.Global warming, the Gaia Movement warns, is being driven by the actions of humans, and if individuals, societies, and businesses wish to continue having a place to live, thrive, and do business, reducing our negative impact on the environment is a must.
The Gaia Movement asserts, “We believe that every pound of textiles that we are able to take away from the landfills will directly benefit humanity by not allowing the production of methane and CO2, both very harmful gases emitted at the landfill level when clothes decay along organic matter.” By urging businesses to reduce waste, they believe that they will reduce this environmental damage and help save the planet.
Finally, achieving a sustainable practice is simply good PR.Customers like it, especially as a public understanding of the effects of global warming grows.People feel good about doing business with a company that is making the Earth a better place for future generations. Knowing that a company is not only out to make a profit, but cares about the customers, their future generations of offspring, and the world in which we all live, makes doing business with that company a more attractive choice. Of course, customers who are able to live in a healthy, safe environment also make better customers than those suffering from the smog of the local factory.
Eva Nielson, from the Gaia Movement USA, predicts that sustainable practices will continue to grow until they become the norm in the business world, and that as companies work to eliminate waste, they will enable entire communities to become self-sustaining. Explaining, she said, “Zero waste facilities will be a key component in making communities achieve sustainability. We’ve already seen thousands of programs become successful and we’ll start to see larger facilities and companies opt for these advancements.”
With more and more companies moving toward more sustainable practices, and in some cases entire communities or cities, such as San Francisco, working to achieve a zero-waste goal, it may be a strategic move for companies to join in the zero-waste movement while it’s still early. For the sake of customer goodwill, environmental responsibility, and fiscal benefits, the Gaia Movement USA notes that the sooner a business begins, the greater the reward to be had.
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