“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make”(Jane Goodall). ‘Going green’ and choosing more eco-friendly products have slowly grown into a trend for many companies. Utility companies, banks, insurance, and others offer customers incentives for going ‘paperless’. This will overtime save more trees than we can count. Cars are moving to electricity to save the environment. What are others doing to show their concern for the environment? Founded in 1971, Dura-pack(formerly MWA) had the well being of not only their customers, but the environment etched in their production. Since 1990, they have seen increased improvement in packaging. All areas of their production efforts cater to the needs of the environment. Why should more companies adopt environmentally friendly packaging? Going green is of tremendous benefit for the environment as it puts less strain on natural resources, it facilitates a reduction of waste as well as lowering the carbon footprint. The aforementioned benefits can have a significant impact on the environment and lead to improvements in the sustainability and quality of life of all Earth’s inhabitants.
We are at great risk of exhausting the earth’s natural resources. Trees, animals, and minerals are being depleted by human beings who are supposed to be stewards of this earth. Human beings were given the right of dominion of the earth and it is up to us to make a change. There is no time like the present. The time for ‘going green’ is now. No more should we see a bird covered in an oil spill or a turtle with a straw in its nose. Thankfully, many companies have been doing their part in areas where one would have thought impossible. Lonely Whale presents a platform for advocating for the safety of the world’s oceans. They launched a campaign against straws featuring the tagline #strawlessocean and #stopsuckingstraws. According to lonelywhale.org, 500 million plastic straws are disposed of daily. Can you believe this? Where do you think many of these single-use straws end up? The movement did recognize that some are disabled and need a straw and one solution for this was making a paper straw. As such it would be biodegradable and contribute to less plastic straws ending up in our world’s oceans. More movements like the ‘Lonely Whale’ are needed to promote environmental health and strength. It is now time for more companies to step up and play their part to save planet earth.
A significant benefit of going green is the reduction of waste on the earth. Previously, it was discussed where movements such as the lonely whale helped to reduce the number of straws and other plastic in the world’s ocean. But finding ways to reuse waste is also an excellent way to reduce waste. I propose that companies not only use environmentally friendly packaging but, engage in turning wasteful materials into useful matter. I recently read an interesting article entitled ‘The Car That Runs on Chocolate’. I was baffled at the thought. However, Bates shared ‘Fuel for Thought’ (2009). As it turns out a group of three researchers from the University of Warwick developed the world’s first green formula 3 race car. A truly ‘green’ motor racing car. Fuel is derived from the waste of chocolate and vegetable oil. Imagine having “steering wheel derived from carrots and other root vegetables, flax fiber and soybean oil foam racing seat, plant oil-based lubricants and a biodiesel engine” (Bates 2009). Now somebody is acting as stewards of this earth and had the environment’s best interest at heart. This here is an environmentally friendly package, in the form of a car.
Unfortunately, money is a factor that drives production. Much more time, effort and even the sacrifice of profits in some cases may be a factor that stops some companies from going green. In the case of The world’s first green formula 3 racing car, it may be the cost of speed as the car does not yet match up to the speed of gasoline-fueled cars. However, lowering the carbon footprint is worth the risk. Carbon footprint is defined as the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon-based chemicals emitted in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels. The tremendous benefit that the environment will gain far exceeds monetary profit. Companies that have a ‘Going Green’ initiatives can help improve air quality with the reduction of trees being cut down for paper products, utilizing recycled packaging alternatives, and adopting logistical and shipping practices that reduce fossil fuel consumption. In some cases, the use of chemicals or even burning is used to get rid of packaging that is not ecofriendly. In many cases, those who are already sick become worst off as they struggle to breath clean air. Respiratory ailments such as Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Chronic Bronchitis, Emphysema, and lung cancer denotes those people who are at risk of fatality should their lung collapse. Though other factors may play a part in the fatality of these diseases. As a company, one should consider Jane Goodall’s statement and think of the kind of difference one wants to make.
It is important that companies join this ‘go green’ wagon as the benefits that will be reaped will be seen for years to come. Scientists already warn of global warming and whether we believe it or not, I say ‘prevention is better than cure’. They say “an apple a day will keep the doctor away”. By extension, one step closer and closer to environmentally friendly packaging will help to preserve the earth’s natural resources and reduce waste. Companies like Dura-Pack have prided themselves on eco-friendly packaging and many companies can begin to see the benefits of environmentally friendly packaging, if they take this step in the right direction. Let us protect our land, water, and air. Let us prove that we are the true stewards of this earth.
Essay by: Walisha Smith
Arizona State University

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