Thursday, January 24, 2013

Overcoming the Seven Sustainability Blunders

As sustainability practitioners we are used to banging our heads against the wall. We wonder why our bosses and colleagues don't "get it". We are dumbstruck by those that refuse to make a profit and still do good. We shake our heads at the refusal of people to think about future generations on the planet and what the world will look like if we propagate 20th century behavior in the 21st century. Yet we plug away, and continue the good fight, full of frustration, but somewhat satisfied with progress, albeit minimal.

If we'd like to see sustainable behavior take root faster (and reduce the amount of headaches we have), then this article titled, "Overcoming the Seven Sustainability Blunders" by Bob Doppelt is a must read.  I've heard of some of the blunders before, but there are a few new ones that I had never contemplated. Mr. Doppelt not only lists and describes the seven blunders, but he also provides ways to resolve the blunders through "interventions". There's a ton of information to digest in this article, so take it in slowly and deliberately, because it's critical that we begin to mitigate our blunders.



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Wishful Thinking

*Before adding PV, wind, or solar thermal to your residential or commercial structure, the first step is to analyze this structure's energy consumption through a professional energy audit. I'd like to see some public education on the importance of an energy audit for any structure. Remember Smokey the Bear's forest fire shtick drilled into our heads over the last few decades? How about something like, "Henry the House" desperately wanting to know how much energy he consumes and wastes throughout the day?

*With over 300 sunny days a year on the Front Range is it too much to ask for solar PV and thermal modules on every residential and commercial unit (after an energy audit of course)?

*How about affordable plug-in electric cars that go more than 100 miles on a charge with PV and wind powered recharging stations?

*Dreaming of companies large and small adopting business sustainability practices to maximize profits, reduce their carbon footprint, and enhance the lives of their employees and the communities that surround them.


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