7 Faces of Sustainability



This week I read an article about Interface Flooring and the steps they have taken to become more sustainable. The opening Ray Anderson quote: "In the future, people like us will go to prison" is very sobering and makes me think twice about how my actions impact the environment. The first paragraph is an indictment of Interface’s business practices. However, the rest of the document describes Interface’s response. Once we evaluate our current ecological footprint, then we can move forward to implement the necessary changes.

The article names "7 faces of sustainability" and how they might be applied both in personal and business life. Step 1 is to eliminate waste. At home I can recycle, compost, use cloth handkerchiefs, and use my own grocery bags as well as my own bulk food containers (if I make the effort to shop at places that will allow me to refill my own containers – easier said than done). What about at work? We can recycle office paper, print 2-sided when printing is unavoidable, install programmable thermostats, use efficient lighting and maybe even install motion sensors so that lights go off automatically in unused rooms. The paper from shredded confidential documents could be recycled or composted (maybe in a worm bin). Perhaps we are unaware of how much waste we are creating and what the most prevalent components are. A waste assessment would tell us exactly which items we are throwing away.

What steps have you taken to eliminate waste? What challenges have you encountered? What benefits have you seen?