eLearning | specialize in your preferred energy related sector

eLearning | specialize in your preferred energy related sector.

We respectfully invite Veterans, Active Military and / or their Families (as young as 8 years of age) to benefit from FREE Energy Industry related eCourses.

Honoring our Veterans and creating their accountability / oversight / support of our Home School Program.
REGISTER NOW, classes begin November, 2012


Clean Water Clear Air … actions we must take now

 Did you read how many wells are contaminated with toxins from runoff?
Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen again!

Dear eeSGroup,

It’s pretty simple: our water should not be used as dumping grounds for polluters.

The White House has been working to make sure that our wetlands and small streams finally get the strong protection they need.  Let the Administration know you support these strong clean water policies. Ask them to finalize the proposal to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act now!

Many small streams and wetlands are currently vulnerable to pollution and destruction because of policy decisions made by the last Administration, after confusing Supreme Court rulings.  Last year the Obama Administration proposed to fix this problem.  But powerful special interests oppose these common sense updates and are attempting to delay this vital work. Clean Water Action members like you can make sure the President continues to move forward to protect streams, wetlands and other water threatened by polluters.

These streams and wetlands aren’t just geographical features.  They provide drinking water for over 117 million people, serve as critical habitat for fish and wildlife, protect us against floods, and filter pollution.  They are vital parts of our water infrastructure and need to be protected by the Clean Water Act.  You can ensure this happens by joining thousands of Americans who are telling the President that we support his efforts.

Before the distraction of an election season takes over, we need your help to show President Obama that we agree with him that clean water is the foundation of healthy economies and healthy communities. Let’s remind him that our nation’s clean water progress needs to continue!

Please take action today!


Jennifer Peters, National Water Programs Coordinator

Why Managers Are Bottlenecks

Flowchart diagram

Image via Wikipedia

Why Managers Are Bottlenecks

Posted by Jeff Hajek, May 15, 2011

Quite often, whether on the shop floor or in the office, a process grinds to a halt when frontline employees have to go seek manager approval for something. Whether it is for spending that exceeds a prescribed threshold, when two employees want to swap work stations to stay fresh, or to sign off on a repaired product after a defect is corrected, if a manager is not immediately available, work flow is disrupted.

In some cases, the manager even intentionally develops a batch process to avoid interruptions. Perhaps she reviews all new spending requests on Thursday morning. Great if you come up with an idea on Wednesday afternoon, but not so good if you have your flash of brilliance at the start of the shift on Friday.

So, to combat the review processes in your company, I recommend you look at every manager approval your organization requires. The goal is to determine the underlying reason that the check is in place. Then, see if any of the assumptions that drive the review process are valid, or if they are obstacles that can be removed.

Why go through this drill? For two main reasons. The first, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, is that approval processes disrupt flow. They also add copious amounts of waste. The manager is interrupted and has to figure out what is going on, which takes their time. And, of course, there is also the time the employee spends explaining what is happening, or gathering and documenting information. Plus, and perhaps most problematic, when a file is sitting in a stack waiting to be looked at, a customer is frequently not being served.

The second, and far more important reason, though, is that approvals send the wrong message to employees. If you want a continuous improvement culture with an empowered workforce making decisions that strengthen the company, leaders have to actually give authority to their teams. Requiring sign-offs, especially for minor things, doesn’t scream empowerment.

Some common reasons approval processes exist include:

  • Lack of a Process: Some managers use ‘gut feel’ decision making. For example, when deciding whether to let someone have a day off of work, a manager probably considers several factors, but likely doesn’t use the same criteria each and every time. By defining a process, a team could easily develop its own vacation process and manage it themselves.
  • Lack of Training: When a process is in place, but is not known by teams, it is the same as having no process. Teach teams how to think the same way that a manager does, and they will get the same results.
  • Access to Information: Managers generally have access to more information than employees do. A prime example is the budget. An employee making a decision about a purchase may not know where the team is in terms of expenses. Give your teams more information, and they will make better decisions. When they are thinking in terms of actual dollars, they will also be more likely to weigh the costs and benefits of the decision, and will even filter out some of their requests on their own.
  • Risk: Asking someone to take risks requires that they get more substantial rewards. Many people will feel uncomfortable making decisions ‘above their pay grade’. Managers should keep the riskier decisions to themselves, but in truth, most frontline employees don’t want to take on deciding whether to roll out a new product or where to build a factory. They would, however, love to be able to decide to purchase a new computer monitor to replace one with a bad flicker. And they don’t want to have to jump through a bunch of hoops.
  • General Convention (AKA “We’ve always done it that way”): History is tough to overcome. If the best answer you can find about why a manager makes a decision is that the manager before made that decision, it is time to work on eliminating that approval process.
  • Psychological Factors: Some managers like having power. They like having control. They like feeling important. There’s probably even a psychological term that describes how people lacking control in one area of their lives grasp onto it in another area to compensate. This situation is particularly hard to deal with because reason and logic often don’t play a major role. If you suspect this is the case, an anonymous request to a more senior leader for a specific process improvement project, or a conversation with a trusted mentor or HR rep can help get this barrier removed.
  • Fear: When a manager has been bitten by a problem in the past, he is less likely to give up control in the future. Look at the reasons for past issues, and consider the root causes that led to the failure. You’ll find that most of those reasons could have been prevented by clearly defining a policy or process, and by making sure employees knew, understood, and followed it.
  • A Mandate: Often, a manager must approve something because of a mandate. Perhaps a director in the finance department saw an increase in overnight shipment charges, and got a policy implemented that requires all ‘red’ shipments to be signed off on by a manager. Mandates like this, though, are seldom passed after a visit to gemba, the specific place where the actual work is being done. Many mandates are established in a conference room. Try this: Mandate that all mandates be physically signed off on the shop floor after speaking to a frontline employee, and more than a few probably would end up in the trashcan.
  • Lack of Trust: While it is seldom explicitly stated, a common driver for approvals is that many managers simply do not trust their employees to make good decisions. Trust, though, is often just the surface reason. It often is related to another item from this list. Solve that underlying issue, and the trust problems tend to dissipate. Keep in mind, though, that trust issues are amplified when there is an adversarial relationship between managers and their teams.
  • Crime: This is the elephant in the room. Some leaders think that employees will steal if not monitored. The question, though, is whether employees act unscrupulously at a higher rate than managers. I’ve never seen any data that shows that ethical behavior is correlated to rank. In fact, if I were to gamble, I would bet that more total dollars in losses are related to criminal activity that comes from white collar crimes at higher levels than from ethical lapses originating on the shop floor. Regardless, in cases where there may be a temptation, consider using peer review to have teams police themselves.
  • Legal and Regulatory Requirements: Sorry. Not much to be done here. Just make sure that a qualified expert has reviewed the legal statutes and regulations, and that there is, in fact, a requirement for manager approval. Sometimes, misinterpretation creates more work.

So, again, I recommend that you take a look at each and every approval process, and determine what would need to happen to remove that need for authorization. If you want a truly empowered workforce, they have to have the authority to make decisions on their own.

Now, I am certainly not saying to just eliminate all approvals tomorrow, but I do firmly believe that it will be good for your company in the long run to improve your processes so approvals by managers become unnecessary. Just get it into your mindset that approvals are a warning sign of poor processes.

My challenge to you, before you leave this webpage, is to commit in your mind to one approval process that you will start working to eliminate. I’d love to hear the process that you are going to work to resolve. Let me know what it is at Info@Velaction.com.

This article originally appeared on Jeff’s Gotta Go Lean blog.

A Plan B worth the look

We are pleased to take this invite and pay it forward.  The growing rates of the unemployment, the 20+ thousand being laid off with the space program, Gulf Coast businesses and on and on and on…  Want to cure your present situation?

The great news is that Keith and Dan created a totally unique pay plan (pays out daily onto a debit card) that allows anyone to own a business that generates personal income with a superior by-product of supporting the many fleets requiring high amount of fossil fuel to operate.

The Commercial side (option) in your business provides the clean air act solution to them.  Many areas of the business to work or not to work; you choose.

Join us this evening to learn how to proudly

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The Fuel Business Team

Green Tips for Mold Removal

most usefully potent and naturally found on Earth ...

For 25 years now we have seen proof positive of the vast natural benefits of Tea Tree Oil.  I chose the best solution to save money and increase results … Melaleuca.  Ask why so you know the long term and multiple benefits… CSea


Posted by Green Life Staff

Removing mold from our homes can be a frustrating and ongoing task.  Most of us just run down to the supermarket and grab a bottle of a chlorine-based mold cleaner, which is sure to be quick and easy- and unfortunately terrible for the environment.  If you have a mold problem around your home, use some of the green tips for mold removal in this article.

Tea Tree Oil

Tree tree oil can be on the expensive side, but as they say, “a little goes a long way.”  It can be found readily online or in your nearest health food store.  Tee Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and fungicide.
It does have a strong camphor-like odor, but is much more pleasant than chlorine fumes.  To make a tea tree oil mixture to treat mold, combine the following in a clean spray bottle, shake, and spray on affected area:

1-2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water

For best results, don’t rinse.  In a few days, clean up the dead mold with soap and water.


Distilled white vinegar can clean just about anything (a definite must for your green-home cleaning needs), including mold.  The Heinz Company, one producer of distilled white vinegar, claims that straight vinegar can kill 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs.  Simply fill up a spray bottle with vinegar, spray infected area and let sit (don’t rinse).  In a few days, clean up the dead mold with soap and water.

A little prevention goes a long way

Mold grows when there is a lot of moisture in the air.  Often, the bathroom is a trouble spot due to the fact that we all like to take hot, steamy showers.  That steam and moisture creates mold.  To prevent mold from developing, put a simple dehumidifier in your bathroom (or any room where you have a mold problem) to help dry out the air.

If you are dealing with mold, consider these toxic-free alternatives to dealing with the issue.  They are safer for you, and for the environment.  Remove your mold, and stay green by doing it!

Read MORE from Green Life …

White House calls for regulators to increase wireless Internet access in U.S.

By Cecilia Kang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 5, 2010; A10

The Obama administration called Monday for federal regulators to provide more spectrum for wireless high-speed Internet services, saying mobile broadband would bring competition to DSL, cable and fiber broadband providers.

In comments and a letter filed with the Federal Communications Commission, the White House’s technology policy arm and the antitrust division of the Justice Department said that the current marketplace for broadband Internet services is not competitive enough and that wireless Internet access could serve as a more affordable way to bring service to areas that are not connected.

“Given the potential of wireless services to reach underserved areas and to provide an alternative to wireline broadband providers in other areas, the [FCC] Commission’s primary tool for promoting broadband competition should be freeing up spectrum,” Justice said in its comments.

The comments by Justice and a similar letter from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration come as more and more people have begun using BlackBerrys, iPhones and other Web-enabled phones. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has warned of a looming cellphone crisis because current networks are not robust enough to handle what is expected to be an explosion of demand for mobile data services.

Specifically, Justice said the FCC should shift “underutilized” spectrum to wireless carriers. But the agency warned that, when distributing spectrum, the FCC should consider how the largest telecommunications companies could further concentrate their market power through an auction.

Justice noted that the largest providers — AT&T and Verizon — offer both wireless and wireline Internet services and might have an incentive to promote fixed wireline services over wireless.

“If wireline providers charge more for service packages that involve greater speeds and/or higher usage limits, consumers purchasing these packages may not enjoy the benefits of competition from wireless broadband, or may do so only indirectly to the extent that consumers as a whole display a willingness to substitute slower wireless service for faster wireline service,” the agency said in its filing.

The comments were submitted as part of the FCC’s push to bring affordable broadband services to all U.S. homes. Obama has made universal access to a high-speed Internet the cornerstone of his technology agenda. And Congress has mandated that the FCC, an independent agency, come up with a plan by February.

Consumer groups, which have been critical of the FCC’s approach on broadband, said the comments by Justice and the NTIA indicate the administration agrees there are not enough options for Internet users.

“They are going out of their way to say competition is important and that there isn’t enough and this is a new approach,” said Mark Cooper, president of the Consumers Federation of America. “The FCC has been looking at spectrum as the great savior, but then they have to answer the question of what happens if spectrum gets captured by incumbent wireline companies.”

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The #1 Way to Fight Global Warming


Do Your Part


Support a clean car standard to save us money at the pump, make our country more secure, and fight global warming!

What’s the single biggest step we can take to reduce global warming emissions?

Give up? The answer is requiring our national fleet of vehicles to average 35.5 mpg, which is exactly what the Obama Administration is proposing to do.

The EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) need your support if they are going to follow through with strong new standards for car and light truck emissions.

The proposed standards have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 950 million metric tons over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in model years 2012-2016.1 That’s the equivalent of shutting down 204 coal-fired power plants for a year!

But that’s not all. During the same time period these standards could save 1.8 billion barrels of oil, which works out to $3,000 dollars over the life of a new vehicle.2 That’s money we’ll keep in our pockets instead of shipping it to countries like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Libya, and Nigeria.

Tell the EPA and DOT that we can’t afford to wait–send a message supporting strong vehicle emissions standards today!

It’s time we take vehicle standards out of the 1970s and into the 21st century and lay a strong foundation for the cleaner vehicles we need to end our reliance on oil and curb global warming.

We need your help to win strong standards that will save us money, make our country more secure, and fight global warming.

Thanks for all that you do to protect the environment.

Mary Anne Hitt
Sierra Club Big Picture Campaign

P.S. Please forward this message and help spread the word to your friends and family!

[1-2] “Sierra Club Applauds New Fuel Economy Rules,” September 15, 2009.



protect this

This well written article was in my Facebook inbox.  Just finished reading and felt the information presented by Nicolas would be of great interest to others.  Would really appreciate your comments on this topic… CSea Perkins



As we scan the globe for signs of environmental degradation, Earth is showing physical signs of man made diseases, electro-magnetic field weakness, ecological contamination and physical signs of specie extinction visible everywhere on this planet. Forty percent of the Earth’s surface has been converted into farmland and half of the tropical forests have been destroyed or degraded. Productive pastor lands are turning into deserts, and low coastal regions are threatened by further increasing flood zones. Flooding will increase in this upcoming decade, contributing to multiple super-strain viruses evolving during this ongoing “Climatic Crisis,` rapidly `spreading out world wide.

Our earth’s protective atmospheric skin or Ozone have also been damaged, fresh water is declining in quality and quantity, plant and animal species are displaced and going extinct every hour, this is the end result of increased food consumption and over population on this planet. There are many species of fish that exist only in small isolated oceanic pockets that still remain pristine.

The ozone layer or skin, is a mass of oxygen or O3 atoms that serve as shield in the atmosphere against the harmful ultra violet sunrays. Ozone being made up of oxygen atoms, oxygen react with carbon monoxide, this reaction would use up more oxygen atoms

When there are more carbon monoxide atoms going to the atmosphere, the volume of oxygen would decline, such is the case of ozone depletion. Another dangerous side effect that deforestation has is the water table underneath the ground. The water table is a source of drinking water for people living around forested areas. The supply of water underground could also dry up if not replenished regularly. Forest’s absorb most of the rain fall to the soil through their roots.

Plant species are disappearing along with tropical forests. As the world population increases yearly, the million dollar question is, how much can this earth, having this environmental stress factor really handle? We may eventually revert backwards into stone age and possible ice age conditions, the worst case scenario is the Mars comparison, having no plant life to support the biospheric living conditions above ground.

Our future energy and food consumption will double and create strenuous, epidemic conditions. Humanity will be required to work more in order to secure shelter and food, prices will eventually skyrocket, basic food commodities will be scarce and expensive. This collective human carbon print is bound to have a negative impact on the environment and well being of this planet. Very little is said or exposed on media or government levels concerning this major deforestation and depletion crisis.

We all have to think more “Green“ preserve and regulate over-consumption, North America’s wasteful consumption and unsustainable ideologies have to be changed. Our out dated and modern day model creates economic and social inequalities in less fortunate countries around the world. Narrowing this gap between rich and poor, will enhance food and water security along with health care, there is no legitimate reason for world poverty to exist in this century.

Energy impacts every aspect of our lives, energy to cook, heat our homes, drive our cars, these are only some of our basic needs:

Wikipedia defines, deforestation as;“ The conversion of forested areas to non-forested land as pastures, urban use, logging purposes, that can result in land and waste land. In many countries, deforestation is ongoing, reshaping climate and global geography. Deforestation is the final end result from the removal of trees. Without sufficient reforestation, this results in declining specie habitat and bio-diversity, wood for fuel and industrial use, diminishing the quality of life“.

Human induced deforestation may be accidental such as in the case of forests in Europe adversely affected by (acid rain). Improperly applied logging, fuel wood collection, fire management (grazing) can also lead to unintentional deforestation.

Most anthropogenic (human) deforestation is deliberate. The future consequences of deforestation are largely unknown, this unknown X- category also fits into my ex-pollution theory, because it lacks unknown scientific data, further studies have to be made.

Deforestation is the process of converting forested land like we mentioned earlier, into non-forest sites that are ideal for crop raising, urbanization and industrialisation have drastically affected these deforested sites. The effects of deforestation can be classified and grouped in categories such as, deforestation habitat depletion zones, bio-diversity and toxic side effects, environmental and social settings.

Deforestation basically involves killing trees in forest’s which then create various affected regions that can only be enumerated as results of the activity. When the forest is destroyed, nature has to basically provide for the loss of this void and renew the damaged forest. Reforestation is one concept that is used by replanting trees, but this method is proven to be a much harder effort than deforestation.

This simply means, the rate of deforestation has not been offset by the rate of reforestation. The environment has already been dramatically affected by deforestation. The X-factor concerning the actual damage done cannot be measured or predicted by science, this man made condition is further contributing to air pollution and global warming. Pollution is rapidly growing because of deforestation and there also seems to be an ever growing population explosion that demands more deforestation. Forests help in reducing Co2 levels in the air, the extended depletion of these groups of trees is gradually increasing the risk that carbon monoxide would reach the atmosphere, resulting in the depletion of the ozone layer.

Water sinks into the ground and eventually replenishes the supply of water in the water table.
Forest depletion causes water falling down as rain, thus flooding occurs instead of absorbing the water, the earth’s surface not being able to retain the rain by the soil. Water from rain does not stay in soil long because of the evaporation, trees absorb the water and retain it. The water table is then un-replenished, leading to drying up the wells.

Forest’s include various species of plants and trees, they also have different natural regions that occupy this space which means, various animals around these plant species world wide are in danger of losing their accustomed habitation grounds. Many of these animals could still be saved if Man would be able to reforest these regions and malpractice of slash and burning of the forest would be totally abandoned.

Man has taken a way the homes from all of these animals, creating a homeless and desolate environment for these creatures. Future development should consider working with the environment and not against it. We should learn how to incorporate the forest and be part of this beautiful nature.

Cities with concentrated smog pollution should consider reforestation, incorporating more of these trees within the city community even if it means planting on top of high-rise buildings and homes. Incorporating a garden over your roof may not be appealing with your home design, but this would actually insulate your home during the summer and also be able to absorb Co2 emissions, recycling back clean oxygen into the air.

One major effect of deforestation is climate change, abrupt changing temperatures in nearby communities, lack of photosynthesis in big cities increase carbon levels and lack of cooling down communities that live in hot areas like Arizona, trees and plants naturally cool down and help retain moisture in the air.

Deforestation is contributing to increased global warming, climate around the globe becomes warmer as more harmful rays of the sun come through our atmosphere, not absorbed by plants that filter these harmful UV rays.

We should all plant trees and have gardens in our back yards and roof tops, even on top high rise apartment buildings. This change will be good for our health and the environment. Trees provide oxygen, they also absorb carbon dioxide which also cools the planet, Mankind’s well being depends on these plants and forests.

The forest provides us with food, shelter, warmth, and oxygen, this a vital component, it must be respected and protected.
New renewable energy like, solar, wind, bio-fuels and hydro contribute only a minuscule global percentage of the total energy package. Although we are headed in the right direction using clean energy, we will have to partially include oil products while new transitions are made.

Author: Nicolas Hermes.

Palm Oil Biodiesel, Now With 2000% the Emissions of Fossil Fuels

Reprint from TreeHugger on 2000% increase in emissions.  Good gosh; what are they thinking?  Consider http://NanotechFuel.com for emissions and expense reduction.


by Matthew McDermott, New York, NY on 10.21.09

Science & Technology (alternative energy)

palm oil deforestation indonesia photo
Oil palm concession in Indonesia, photo: Hayden via flickr.

Can we just all put palm oil biodiesel produced on deforested peatlands to rest already: A new report from the United Nations Environment Programme shows that biodiesel production under these conditions can result in greenhouse gas emissions 2000% higher than fossil fuels. Other biofuels fare much better however:

The devil is really in the details of how and where biofuels are produced, the report says. Though chopping down rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia and replacing them with plantations results in monumental increases in carbon emissions compared to petrol-diesel, not to mention massive biodiversity problems, in other circumstances biofuels really live up to their carbon neutral claims.

Brazilian Sugarcane Ethanol = 70-100+% Emission Reduction
For example, producing ethanol from sugar cane in Brazil can lead to emissions reductions of 70% to “well over 100%” as compared to gasoline. Editorializing, conditions for workers are another issue… at least the fuel itself is clean if not always the labor practices.

But back to palm oil: The report does say however that when grown on abandoned or degraded land, palm oil can make a “positive contribution” to greenhouse gas emissions.

Biofuels Neither Panacea Nor Pariah
All in all, Executive Director of the UNEP Achim Steiner says a “more sophisticated debate [about biofuels] is urgently needed” and that “biofuels are neither panacea nor a pariah, but like all technologies they represent both opportunities and challenges.”

How to Talk With People About Your Products

reality! photo by Chris Moswalt

natural changes! photo by Chris Moswalt

To everyone and anyone that shares products.  Consider Michael’s very effective recommendations if you wish to succeed in today’s environment.  His assessment is quite accurate and has serious merit.

Take the following script and convert it to your products. Easy to correlate body health to vehicle health, in this instance… CSea Perkins


Discovering before presenting is one of the main concepts of the Natural Selling Process.

Most sales are lost due to “fire hose” presentations, presenting too early and attempting to “get “people into the “system” as quickly as possible. The passive aggressive and sometimes outwardly aggressive resistance that follows is the nightmare of most distributors!

And who causes it? The distributor!

So how to turn this around?

Discover First – Present Second!

Here is an example I borrowed from my audio program “Introducing Your Business And Products”.

Let’s say your products are nutritional supplements (or anything else for that matter). A person named Charles comes up to you and picks up one of your products and asks;

“So what does this do?”

Here’s how you can reply by contrasting what they want with what they presently have.

Well, you know how most of us have lowered immune systems and are prone to all sorts of modern diseases like cancer because of the lack of nutrition in what we eat caused by extensive use of chemical fertilizers?

Well what this does is put back into your body the nutrients it needs to protect it from those diseases so that you can lead a normal healthy life.

Do you take supplements or nutrients?

Yes I do

So, Charles, what kinds of nutritional supplements do you take?

Well, I take vitamins, antioxidants and a mineral.

How are they working for you?

Very well.

And when you say working well for you, in what sense?

Oh, I noticed I have better resistance to disease.

Is that right!

Yeah, people in the office are always sick and coughing, and I seem to breeze through it.

That’s interesting. So, how long you been taking them?

Three years.

Three years? And did you notice a difference immediately when you started taking them?

No, it took about a month.

Hmm! Have you ever taken anything else?

Yeah. I’ve bought stuff at the health food store for years.

Yeah. So you sound pretty happy with what you have?

I really am.

Is there anything you would change about what you’re taking? I mean is there anything you don’t particularly like about them?

We have one product that has, embarrassing to say, a very strong odor… kind of like rotten eggs.


It is. It’s a mineral product. I know that they’re very powerful, but I tell you the smell is a turnoff.

Tell me more about that? Does it prevent you from taking the product?

I don’t take it as much as I should

You OK with that?

Not really.

So what if you could take something else that was equally as effective, didn’t have the smell and tasted good as well? Would that be worth exploring?

Yeah! Is that what this is?

Yes it is… and if you’re interested I’d like to tell you more about it!

Sounds good to me…

You can then go on to explain the precise benefits of your product compared with what they are already taking.

As you’re building your business, you will encounter many situations where your potential customers are satisfied with their products.

Even if they are, always ask the all important question,

‘Is there anything that you would change about what you’re currently taking if you could?”

The answers you get might well give you clues or talking points to allow you to demonstrate how your product differs and what its potential benefits are by offering something that the competition doesn’t.

Have a peaceful and prosperous week…

If you’d like to leave a comment about this article please click here

The 4 Pillars of Sustainability: Food, Energy, Transportation, Social Responsibility

City or rural countryside, most action for sustainable living falls into one of these 4 categories.

Marye Audet

By Marye Audet
Lancaster, TX, USA | Sat Oct 03 09:00:00 GMT 2009Marye Audet

When you hear the phrase “sustainable living” what do you think of? Do you think of a farm, or a small homestead, or even a Little House on the Prairie episode?

Living gently on the earth is possible anywhere. People often wonder how you can practice sustainable living when you live in the city or a highly populated urban area. It is just a matter of thinking outside the box. Sustainable living is a state of mind.

Can You Live Sustainably in the City?

In some ways, living in the city makes it easier, especially with public transportation. You can grow vegetables in containers on your balcony or shop at farmers markets. There is always a way if you look for it.

Check your lifestyle and see how you can make changes no matter where you live. Like all things, the sustainable living lifestyle is made up of a series of habits and small actions that add up to a big impact over time. It is hard to make huge lifestyle changes but by understanding the principles of the sustainable lifestyle you can make small permanent adjustments to the way you live.

Everyone Can Do Something

If you can make one small change every month in one of these areas you will have made 48 positive changes in your impact on the environment in one year. In 10 years that is 480 positive changes and a really huge impact.

Making those small changes are easy to do. Try making one change a week or one change a month. Keep it doable for you. In 21 days it becomes a new habit. Too often we make these huge changes in our lives and they only last for a few weeks.

Take it slow, make it easy, and make it permanent.

The 4 Categories of Sustainable Living

Everything needed for a lifestyle of sustainability falls into one of the following categories.

1. Food

The way we eat has a huge impact on the environment, either positive or negative. Make small changes in your eating habits to make a big impact on the eco-system. Eating sustainably is not something that just people who live in the country can do. It is more about the choices you make everyday in your own life.

Choosing foods that keep your body healthy, that are free of toxins, and that are local can keep thousands of tons of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere every year. When food is shipped from one place to the other the carbon footprint becomes bigger and the food loses nutrients in the time consuming process.

For some, this will mean eschewing meat, perhaps all animal products. For others it will mean buying organic, and still others will lower their impact by eating less meat, or hunting, or raising their own.

Packaging not only adds to the overall impact of your food because it eventually ends up in the landfill but also because it has to go through the manufacturing process. Trees are cut to make paper, factories must be supplied with power, and gallons of toxic inks used to get that colorful cereal box on the store shelves.

Learn to make your own bread and baked goods or can and preserve fruits and vegetables. The more you do for yourself the smaller impact you have, the more money you save, and the more confident you will become.

2. Energy

Energy is what makes our world go ’round. There are two kinds:

  • Renewable energy is that which has been in use since time began. Renewable energy is the kind that you use when you are is hand chopping vegetables rather than using a processor or using solar panels to supply light to your home. Renewable energy does not impact the environment much if at all.
  • Non-renewable energy is that which has only been used for the past hundred and fifty years or so. Coal, gasoline, and other petroleum products become depleted as they are used. Once they are gone, they are gone. The impact on the environment both in gathering the product and in manufacturing it is huge. Generally non-renewable energy sources also leave a residue of pollutants and toxins in the environment.

3. Transportation

Transportation once meant walking from one place to another. Later horses, wagons, and bicycles were added and allowed people to travel longer distances. It was the bicycle that had one of the biggest impacts on society, as a matter of fact. Bikes allowed the middle and lower classes to move out of the cities and commute during the late Victorian era.

Cars, planes, ships, and trains all need high amounts of non-renewable resources to get from one place to another. The less these vehicles are used the fewer carbon emissions there are. Shopping locally is important for the economy but also for the savings in transportation costs and pollution. Take this quiz to find out your transportation footprint.

4. Social Responsibility

The last pillar of sustainability is one you don’t hear about in that context so much, and that is social responsibility. Social responsibility is the mentality that all organisms are interconnected and exist because of the synergy between them. When I buy clothing that is made by a local seamstress I may pay more for the item but I know that the purchase contributes in a positive way to the earth as a whole.

Donating to a food pantry, knowing your neighbors, pitching in and helping out, and being aware of how your life impacts others positively or negatively are all important ways of protecting the environment and sustainable living.

Everyone Can Do Something
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