Final Research Paper
Applied Microeconomics Theory
September 29th, 2018
Contents TOC o “1-3” h z u Contents PAGEREF _Toc525999874 h 2Introduction PAGEREF _Toc525999875 h 3Going Green PAGEREF _Toc525999876 h 3Five Principles of Going Green PAGEREF _Toc525999877 h 4Reduce pollution PAGEREF _Toc525999878 h 4Conserve Resources PAGEREF _Toc525999879 h 4Conserve Energy PAGEREF _Toc525999880 h 5Reducing Consumption and Waste PAGEREF _Toc525999881 h 5Protect the Earth’s Ecological Balance PAGEREF _Toc525999882 h 6Companies in the Fast Food Industry and Food and Beverage Industry PAGEREF _Toc525999883 h 6Going Green at Home PAGEREF _Toc525999884 h 9Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc525999885 h 10
IntroductionGoing green does not only involve recycling, it involves so much more than that. Going green is a way to live life that is friendly to the natural environment and is sustainable for the earth. It is really about contributing towards maintaining the natural ecological balance in the environment while preserving the planet and its natural systems and resources. The five principles that are important in protecting the environment from harm, as well as helping to ensure that living (for humans and animals) on earth is sustainable are reducing pollution, conserving resources, conserving energy, reducing consumption and waste, and protecting the earth’s ecological balance. Sounds easy, right?
If you say you are going to go green, it usually means you want to opt for a sustainable and renewable way of living. A green lifestyle focuses on reducing, reusing, and recycling whenever and wherever possible. It’s not something that can happen overnight as it’s a gradual process of changing your lifestyle by using products that are considered to be green while ensuring you are reducing the imprint you and your family leaves on the environment. People need to create a sustainable place to live for everyone and there are many reasons why going green is important. You can lower your utility bills all while stopping the effects of causing additional damage to our environment CITATION Sal l 1033 (Painter, n.d.).
How often in the news do you see or read about a national company going green? My guess would be often, especially recently. The awesome part is it’s not just companies, it’s also cities that are pushing for a greener environment. Over Earth Day weekend, Washington D.C., reopened their food waste drop-off locations throughout the city where residents can drop-off food waste instead of just throwing it into the garbage. Dell’s employees volunteer to clean-up parks, beaches, rivers, and coastal areas. The company went plastic bottle free in order to reduce plastic waste. They also will be removing 16,000 pounds of ocean-bound plastic and converting it into laptop packaging. CITATION Mal18 l 1033 (Szczepanski, 2018).
Five Principles of Going GreenReduce pollutionWe release substantial amounts of toxic substances into the environment on a daily basis. Think about the soap, shampoo and cleaning detergents that you use. Think about those chemicals that are being washed down the sinks and pipers, into drains and rivers. Think about the fast food lunch you had. Chemicals (pesticides, man-made fertilizers and even hormones) are being released into the lands, water and air from the bread, meat patty, and salad on a burger. Think about the packaging of the meal. The wrappers used are bound for landfills and incinerators while they release harmful gases. Think about the car you drive to work in, or the bus or car that you sit on. Each vehicle releases toxic substances and emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Think about the chemicals and gases that are being produced by factories and industries while manufacturing everyday items CITATION Wha1 l 1033 (What Does Going Green Mean, n.d.).
Conserve ResourcesEarth’s resources are limited. We continue to consume more and more natural resources as the human population continues to grow and technology advances. Trees are being cut down to produce more paper for the increase in offices worldwide. In order to drive our factory machineries, automobiles, airplanes, and our homes we are using more oil, coal, and other natural fuels that are being extracted from the earth. Not to mention that the supply of oil and coal will not last forever. Research has found that humans use more than 20% of the natural resources compared to what Earth can produce. There are fewer plants to absorb excessive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Over fishing has also wiped out some fish populations in waters and reduced the number of fish in the ocean CITATION Wha1 l 1033 (What Does Going Green Mean, n.d.).
Conserve EnergyThe sources of energy from oil, coal and natural gas on earth are currently finite. Conserving energy also means less pollution. The extraction of energy producing materials from earth generates substantial pollution. The use of the energy materials in power stations, factories and automobiles produces large amounts of pollution and contributes to global warming. We’ve recently started to inherent other sources of sustainable energy which may help as well CITATION Wha1 l 1033 (What Does Going Green Mean, n.d.).
Reducing Consumption and WasteIf we reduce our consumption, there would be less need for energy and resources (raw materials) and in the process produce less pollution. We would need less energy and resources for handling our unwanted waste by reducing our waste overall. This too means, that there would then be less pollution from landfills and the incinerators. Reusing will help reduce consumption of new materials and help reduce the waste that we all create. Recycling allows us to reuse the materials in unwanted items to make new items. These material can be diverted away from landfills and incinerators by not contributing to pollution CITATION Wha1 l 1033 (What Does Going Green Mean, n.d.).
Protect the Earth’s Ecological Balance”The earth’s ecological balance refers to the equilibrium formed as a result of the harmonious co-existence of living organisms, including plants, animals and man, on this planet. Should the balance of this equilibrium tip in any direction, all the organisms involved would be adversely impacted” CITATION Wha1 l 1033 (What Does Going Green Mean, n.d.). There aren’t just humans on earth. There are plants and animal species as well. They depend on the environment just as much as we do, maybe even a little more. We have destroyed many natural habitats to many plants and animal species, many of which are extinct or are in danger of extinction. We hinger the earth’s ability to clean itself of excessive pollutants and carbon dioxide with destruction of forests. Due to over population, we’ve also stretched the earth beyond its limits, through over fishing and over farming. In the process, we’ve introduced many man-made and harmful substances into other species, the environment and ourselves CITATION Wha1 l 1033 (What Does Going Green Mean, n.d.).
Companies in the Fast Food Industry and Food and Beverage IndustryIn the article, 7 Fast Food Chains Going Green, the author talks about different things that companies in the Fast Food Industry and Food and Beverage Industry are doing to go green. Some of the items mentioned in the article, include how McDonald’s recently announced that they will be eliminating foam packaging by the end of 2018 and they have committed to sourcing 100% of their packaging from renewable or recycled sources by 2025. Subway uses many suppliers that are family farms who are committed to environmental stewardship for generations and often use eco-friendly tactics, like fuel-efficient tractors and energy-harvesting solar panels in order to manage their farms. All of Wendy’s new and remodeled restaurants are equipped with energy-saving LED lights inside and out. They are also committed to reducing their energy consumption by 20% by 2025- they’ve already reported a 12% reduction in energy usage since announcing this challenge CITATION Lau18 l 1033 (Murphy, 2018).
I currently work for Schreiber Foods located in Green Bay, WI. Schreiber is an eco-friendly company that strongly believes in environmental responsibility and protecting our earth. In 2011, it had been announced that we would be building a new corporate office in Green Bay. At this time we were located in six separate buildings relatively close to one another, but some that weren’t within walking distance away. The located of the new headquarters would be where the former shopping mall was downtown. The builders ended up reusing 60% of the existing foundation from the former mall and recycled 30,842 tons of concrete from our old home office to our new home office. The company also teamed up with HGA to provide LEED perquisite commission that tested more than 500 pieces of equipment. The process ended up resolving more than 140 deficiencies that impacted energy, sustainability, and maintenance that now saves approximately $40,000 annually in energy costs CITATION Sch l 1033 (Schreiber Foods, Home Office and Global Technology Center, n.d.).
“Every year, we’re working to use less water, electricity, paper and fuel. We’re repurposing and recycling so we can keep as much waste out of landfill as possible. We’re converting waste into energy. All this helps us with our goal, which is to send zero waste to the landfill” CITATION Res l 1033 (Environment Responsbility, n.d.). To meet our goal of zero waster, we are repurposing and recycling as much as we can. At our home office, we’ve gone beyond trash and recyclable items by now including biodegradable waste containers. We’re sending our biodegradable waste to a digester on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus, where the food waste is turned into energy to help power the college. With the biodegradable waste containers, came biodegradable silverware, plates, cups, and napkins. Biodegradable waste is capable of being decomposed by bacteria and other living organisms.
We’ve implemented a number of lighting, refrigeration and steam efficiency projects to reduce our impact on the environment at several of our plants. Running a plant requires a lot of equipment like lights, lines, forklifts and refrigerators that all run on energy. We’ve been working with suppliers to reduce water. Water plays a key role in our process of making dairy favorites for people to enjoy. It’s a key component in making dairy products and necessary for cleaning our equipment and facilities to provide trusted food to people. We also have set some huge goals for ourselves by 2020: to divert 99% of our waste from landfills, to reduce our scope one and scope two carbon footprint emission by 25%, and to reduce our energy use by 25%. In 2016, we achieved 98% landfill diversion, 21% reduction in carbon footprint emission, and 16% decrease of electricity and fuel usage CITATION Sch16 l 1033 (Schreiber Responsibilities, 2015-2016).
Schreiber’s eco-friendly goals have a lot of pros to them as they are really trying to be a better company for earth. They are constantly trying to do better things and have better processes. I think their biggest con would be having manufacturing plants, which isn’t something that they can get rid of. So they really need to make sure they are doing everything they can to have healthy and safe manufacturing facilities on our planet. They need to be doing the same things throughout each plant. Not just a few of them. If they improve lighting at one location, they have to do it at all locations. If they figure out how to save thousands of gallons of water at one location, they have to do it at all locations. That is what would give them the best results and help them get closer to their 2020 goals. Then they can strive for new, more challenging goals once those have been met in order to continue to improve.
Going Green at HomeIt’s not just companies and cities that need to go green in order to protect our environment, it’s also all of us individually and at home. The article, 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green, shares ten simple things you can do to help reduce environmental impact. They are save energy to save money, save water to save money, less gas = more money, eat smart, skip the bottled water, think before you buy, borrow instead of buying, buy smart, keep electronics out of the trash, and make your own cleaning supplies. In order to save on energy, you can set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer, install compact fluorescent light bulbs, unplug unused appliances, wash clothes in cold water whenever possible, and use a drying rack or clothesline instead of dryer. In order to save on water, you can take shorter showers, install a low-flow showerhead, have a faucet aerator on each faucet, and plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden.
Instead of driving to work, you can walk or bike instead to save on gas. Or you could telecommute to work if you live too far from work. Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can and watch video on why local food and sustainable seafood are great. Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water and bring a reusable water bottle with you. Instead of buying new, you can go online to find new or gently used secondhand products and check out garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops. Borrow books and movies from libraries or movie rentals and share power tools and other appliances instead of buying. When buying, buy smart. Buy in bulk because it can save money, wear clothes that don’t need to be dry-cleaned, and invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. Don’t throw away any old cell phones, computers, or other electronics in the trash. Instead, you can donate or recycled them. Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging. It can also be very effective, non-toxic cleaning products by using ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap CITATION 10W06 l 1033 (10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green, 2006). I’ve learned that all of these are simply and easy changes to make in your life to better the environment. Staying motivated and putting in the effort will be a challenge for everyone. Sometimes it’s easier to throw something away in the garbage, rather than to recycle it. Earth is all of our homes, we all need to do whatever we can do make it better. An added bonus, is that all of the items mentioned above, will save money.
ConclusionGoing green for the environment, ourselves, and the other species that live on earth isn’t something that is that difficult to do. However, it isn’t something that will happen overnight. In order to achieve a better place, everyone must play their part. You can’t have only half the world saving energy, saving gas, and saving on natural resources. We really need the entire world to do it and to stay determined while doing it. Keeping topics about going green in the news would be a way to remind people to do their part. Having more companies and cities find ways to improve their processes and reduce usage, would help remind people to do their part. It’s not any easy task, but it not only saves people money in the long run, but also makes the world better, why wouldn’t you want to continue to work for a greener environment?
BIBLIOGRAPHY 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green. (2006, April 18). Retrieved from WorldWatch Institue: http://www.worldwatch.org/resources/go_green_save_green
Environment Responsbility. (n.d.). Retrieved from Schreiber Foods: https://www.schreiberfoods.com/en-us/responsibility/environment
Murphy, L. (2018, January 30). 7 Fast Food Chains Going Green. Retrieved from Earth 911: https://earth911.com/business-policy/fast-food-green/
Painter, S. (n.d.). Going Green. Retrieved from Home and Garden: https://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/definition-going-green
Schreiber Foods, Home Office and Global Technology Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from HGA: https://www.hga.com/projects/schreiber-foods-home-office-and-global-technology-center/
Schreiber Responsibilities. (2015-2016). Retrieved from Schreiber: https://www.schreiberfoods.com/media/2009/schreiber_responsibility_2017.pdf
Szczepanski, M. (2018, April 20). 24 Ways Cities, Companies are Going Green for Earth Day 2018. Retrieved from Waste 360: https://www.waste360.com/waste-reduction/25-ways-cities-companies-are-going-green-earth-day-2018/gallery?slide=1
What Does Going Green Mean. (n.d.). Retrieved from All Reycling Facts: http://www.all-recycling-facts.com/what-does-going-green-mean.html