SAN DIEGO – This article is for you! We are not doing as much as we can to be GLOBAL CITIZENS! We are San Diegans, Americans and global citizens. We can be active locally to make a difference globally. I’d like you to think about how we fit in to this new consciousness of Sustainability. Many would argue, San Diego is way behind in thought and action compared to San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. We couldn’t even be compared to Europe who is leading this “Sustainable Revolution!” Wouldn’t it be better to be in the forefront of this new movement to make the world a better place for us, our kids and our grandkids?
San Diego is doing GOOD for our world, our environment and sustainability. Let’s start getting some recognition for what we do have! Just a sample list includes:
- The US GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
- BRIGHT GREEN MBA at Alliant International University
- GREEN DRINKS Chapters for socializing and networking
- Certifications in Sustainability at UCSD and SDSU
- A very active SURFRIDER FOUNDATION
- The EARTHFAIR that brings over 40,000 participants to Balboa Park every year to honor Earth Day
- The SAN DIEGO ZOO is now offering BIOMIMICRY events
- The CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
- FARMERS MARKETS almost everyday of the week in every corner of San Diego County
- SDGE has earned awards awards for their energy efficiency programs
- JOAN KROC CENTER FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE often addresses issues of social justice
Let’s face it … As Americans, it’s in our nature to buy, buy, buy. Even after 9/11, our previous president asked us to go make purchases to save the economy. Oh my! This is the basis of our system — CAPITALISM. We see commercials and brand-placing in the movies. Every magazine offers a plethora of ‘things’ we must have! If we could only have ____, we would be rich, thin, or happy. This charade makes me laugh. Nonetheless, it is our reality … as Americans!
What guides your purchasing decisions?
- What is the best product?
- What is the best price?
- What is trendy?
- What do the Jones’ have?
- Is there free delivery?
- What colors are available?
*I’m asking you to THINK DEEPER as a consumer and as a human being!
Have you thought about?
- What materials were necessary to make your coffee maker?
- Who assembled your child’s Aurora doll?
- How many miles did your oranges need to travel to your neighborhood grocery store?
- How much water was needed to make your carpet?
- How much electricity was used in producing your car?
- How much waste was produced while making your wide-screen television?
* All the questions listed above relate to the Supply Chain. These are valid and essential questions!
TED: Ideas worth spreading
I’m going to recommend you watch four impactful videos. The first three are TED VIDEOS. If you haven’t heard of TED, yet. You must get on the bandwagon! The most amazing speakers from around the world speak of their business and their philosophy. This could be your inspiration for more creativity and innovation! The fourth video is magnificently simple, poignant, and profound. I also found it quite funny.
1) Auret van Heerden at TED: Making global labor fair (17:46)
“This presents us with a huge moral and ethical dilemma. I know none of us want to be accessories after the fact of Human Rights Abuse in a Global Supply Chain.” – Auret van Heerden, Fair Labor Association
“Multi-national [companies] are protecting human rights.” – Auret van Heerden, Fair Labor Association
“Human rights comes down to a simple proposition. Can I give this person their dignity back?” – Auret van Heerden, Fair Labor Association
2) WWF’s Jason Clay at TED: How big brands can help save biodiversity (23:52)
“You cannot wake a person who is pretending to sleep.” -Sudanese Man
Top 15 Commodities: Palm Oil; Cotton; Biofuels; Sugarcane; Pulp and Paper; Sawn Wood; Dairy; Beef; Soy; Tuna; Farmed Shrimp; Tropical Shrimp; Fish Oil and Meal; Farmed Salmon; Whitefish.
“100 companies control 25% of the trade of the world’s most significant 15 commodities.” –Jason Clay, WWF
“Whatever was sustainable on a planet of 6 billion will not be sustainable on a planet of 9 billion.” – Jason Clay, WWF
3) William McDonough at TED: Cradle to Cradle Design (20:03)
“How do we love all the children of all species of all time?” – William McDonough, Architect and Designer
“It took us 5,000 years to put wheels on our luggage.” – William McDonough, Architect and Designer
“Water is considered a human right by the United Nations.” – William McDonough, Architect and Designer
“COMPETITION actually come from Lating ‘COM-PETARE’ that means STRIVE-TOGETHER.” – William McDonough, Architect and Designer
4) The Story of Stuff by Tides Foundation, Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption (21:25)
“We are running out of resources. We are using too much stuff.” – Annie Leonard, Sustainability Funders
“The United States represents 5% of our world population but is using 30% of world resources and creating 30% of waste.” – Annie Leonard, Sustainability Funders
“There are over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in use in commerce today.” – Annie Leonard, Sustainability Funders
“We have more stuff but we have less time for things that really makes us happy.” – Annie Leonard, Sustainability Funders
What a waste!
Not only actual trash filling up the dump or landfills. It’s wasteful to use too much energy or water. We have wasted time and human effort. Most of all, our common sense and creativity. We are underutilizing innovation. We have lost our connection with humanity. COME ON NOW … WE CAN DO BETTER!
What is your CONSUMPTION (aka CARBON) FOOTPRINT?
Go ahead, wake up! Take one of these short quizzes created by UC Berkeley. Think about how you are contributing to the problem. Think about how you can be part of the solution.
The U.S. Household Calculator enables individuals or households to calculate their carbon footprints and make customized pledges to reduce carbon footprints and save money. http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/uscalc
The California-Specific Calculator with Community Support allows individuals or households to calculate their footprints and make customized climate action plans in California (2011). http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/CA-version
The U.S. Small Business Calculator enables small business owners or managers to calculate the carbon footprint of their business and make customized pledges to reduce carbon footprints and save money. http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/business-calculator
Thank you for reading. Thanks for pondering. Thanks for taking action.
Let’s stay connected.Your comments and feedback are welcomed! Your ‘likes’ are appreciated. Repost and ReTweet! Feel free to subscribe for ‘real-time’ notifications of future posts. Become a a sponsor of this column. Please contact directly at [email protected] or explore more ways to be connected on http://about.me/HollanMcBride
Hollan McBride, M.A.,has more than 15 years of exploring her passions in sustainable business strategy, leadership development, and organizational learning. She is the Founder and CEO of Blazon Laurels: Global Sustainable Strategy and Integration, which supports innovative leaders in reaching their sustainability business goals. Hollan earned her Master’s degree in Organizational Behavior from Alliant International University; she also has a degree in Speech Communications. She lives in San Diego, California, and enjoys leading an active, healthy and sustainable lifestyle.