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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?

eet our Blog & Blogger

Welcome to the brand new Green Biz Wichita blog! As we start this endeavor, I thought it might be helpful for you to learn a little bit about me.

My name is Catherine and I am a student at Friends University in the Masters in Environmental Studies Program. Having grown up in British Columbia, Canada, I have always cared about the environment. As a kid, I spent a lot of time outdoors and came to value nature. In the summer I played in a "fort" with rooms delineated by spruce boughs and tree roots. In the fall I had to be careful walking from the bus stop (at the end of the driveway) to the house because there might be a black bear in the vicinity.

One of my favorite winter memories is cross-country skiing to the end of our road and off into the forest. We would follow tracks made by snowmobiles to a frozen pond. There we replaced our skis and boots with ice skates. I was terrible at ice skating, but there was something amazing and simple about being able to enjoy the natural ice and not have to drive into town to an ice rink.

In light of my background I have been contemplating what I might have to offer to Green Biz and its members. I hope that I will be able to share what I am learning in my classes and in my own personal environmental experiments. I know that I also have a lot to learn from the members of Green Biz. I believe that each step we take (no matter how insignificant it might seem) to reduce our environmental footprint is one small and step for "envirokind."