Natasha Wilson

365 Things – Get a Reusable Coffee Mug
January 30, 2009, 16:06
Filed under: 365 Things

acupThis is a subject that’s close to my heart.  Those who know me, know that I consume an extreme amount of coffee on a daily basis.  At this point, my consumption is unlikely to change.  So, how do I make the best of my steadfast habits?  Well, if I walked into my neighbourhood coffee shop without my reusable travel mug, there would be an embarassing pile of coffee cups on my desk, in my car, scattered around my house… sound familiar?  Traveling with a reusable coffee mug is a great way to reduce your consumption of unrecyclable paper/plastic products.

What’s In A Cup?

Yup… you heard me… unrecyclable.  Grab a cup of coffee from your local java shop, and you may notice some interesting stats; “10% post consumer recycled material” is one of them.  Why don’t manufacturers use 100% recycled paper? First off, the FDA restricts the use of recycled paper pulp coming in contact with food and beverages.  Secondly, no one can seem to make a 100% recycled paper cup that’s strong enough to hold a hot beverage.  So why can’t we recycle the paper cups we use? Most cups are laminated with a plastic resin, which helps keep the beverage warm and prevents liquids from soaking into the paper.  It also prevents the cups from being recycled.

Why do I care?

North America uses 60 per cent of the world’s paper cups, 130 billion of them per year.  Producing those cups requires about 50 million trees and 33 billion gallons of water, which could sequester 9.3 million tonnes of CO2 and quench 550,000 drought-stricken citizens in a country of your choosing.  And then, we need to consider the long-term impacts – the, “what happens when my glorious cup of coffee is finished?”  In 2006, it is estimated that paper cups accounted for 252 million pounds of garbage resting in landfills.

365 Things –  Pick One

Next time you grab a coffee, grab a resuable mug.  Many major java chains even give a discount for bringing your own.  It’s a win/win situation for everyone.

365 Things – Pick One
January 29, 2009, 15:52
Filed under: 365 Things

one_finger_350oWe live in a day where consumption and reduction should be top of mind. Meeting our basic living needs – transportation, housing, food – has an extreme impact on the health of our planet and our natural resources. Our over consumption of non-necessities is even worse.

Every day, I’m going to take a look at things I can do in my life (and I hope you can do in yours) to;

a) Mitigate the environmental impacts of meeting basic needs
b) Finding a better way to consume non-essential products in a responsible way

I’m a straight-to-the-point person, and like you, I don’t have time to learn about things in a roundabout way. So, I’ll try to keep these posts brief, and pleasing. Afterall, it only takes ONE THING to change our habits, our impacts and our feelings about the way we move forward in this world.

Is your business green enough?
October 1, 2008, 10:10
Filed under: Environment

fixitenvironmentWithout a doubt, ‘the environment’ is a topic that has recently come to the forefront, thanks to our upcoming federal election. Most party leaders have proposed a broad range of policies, levies and initiatives, to make Canada a greener, future friendly nation. Voters too have proclaimed that the environment is their priority in 2008. So, my question to you is: “what policies, levies and initiatives are you choosing to govern your lives by?”. This is something, after all, that we can act on now, with or without our politicians paving the way.

Small, medium and large sized businesses need to adopt responsible practices for safe guarding our environment. So, I challenge you today, to think of the ways your business is green, or can be green. Here’s a few small suggestions, and easy ways to get started:

Offset your energy consumption – Use green, carbon free power to help fight climate change and do your part for future generations. With programs like Bullfrog Power, 100% of electricity consumption is displaced with clean, emission free, renewable sources like wind power and low-impact water power.

Give – 1% For The Planet is a growing global movement of companies that donate 1% of their sales to 1,635 environmental organizations worldwide. 1% is a small price to pay – think of what our local coffee shops collect from us annually! Benefits of membership include a well thought marketing program: a great way to advertise your thoughtfulness to clients.

Get active Check out local environmental groups and find out how you can lend a hand. Being environmentally responsible is about more than helping to clean a park. Often local NFP’s need help with professional services like legal affairs, PR, website design, and more. Forgive me for saying, but the benefits extend to your business too. Community relations are an important part of any successful PR strategy. Here in my back yard, Ecology Ottawa and The Sierra Club – Ottawa Chapter are two of many groups who could use your help.

Happy greening.