The past few weeks I've been thinking about Eco-Friendly Businesses. This is a topic that I’m interested in but I'm not ready to dedicate my life to it just yet. My focus is still on Energy Healing: sharing it with the world through this blog and with a series of books that I hope to publish. Fingers crossed the books will take off, and when they do, I plan on investing in eco-friendly businesses. That’s still a long way off though, I'm just getting started. Then I had this crazy idea and thought I might as well put it out there. Who knows! Maybe someone else can put it to practice =)
So here it is!
I love the idea of a business conglomerate where Nature “owns” a majority share in the company. What I’d like to see, are new businesses and product ideas where Nature is taken into account at every step of the process. The bottom line would still matter – businesses have to turn a profit to survive, but it wouldn’t carry more weight than the environmental footprint. The people who work there would ask if the products, services and processes sustainable? What impact do our operations have on the environment, natural ressources, etc.
Here’s an example of how that might work. Before I became a Healer, I worked in consumer marketing. At one point, my job was to manage a line of skin care products. The kind you see in European pharmacies: fancy packaging, premium prices, etc. We had body washes, facial scrubs, anti-wrinkle creams. My job was to pay attention to how the products looked, how they felt, to the experience consumers would have when they used them at home. That includes making sure the bottles look nice on the bathroom shelf. You don’t want them in the cupboard, forgotten. One of my first projects was relaunching our body washes, with new bottle designs, new formulas, new advertising. We were almost ready to go, but one of my colleagues kept pestering me about the bottle caps. He didn’t want the ones we had chosen for new image.
Let’s call him Michael.
It was a real problem. My boss had chosen the bottle caps personally. They were gorgeous. Pastel colors, opaque, exactly what we wanted for the brand. The only problem was that we had to ship them across the Atlantic because they were sourced on a different continent. Our next best option was a shiny green cap that was produced locally, much cheaper, but also a little bit tacky. Marketing wanted the pretty caps. Michael, our procurement officer, kept pushing for the shiny ones. He insisted that he pretty ones were a nightmare, they took months to deliver. It may sound silly, but we argued about this for weeks in team meetings. It wasn’t until we sat down for a one-to-one chat that I realised he was mostly concerned with making our products as eco-friendly as possible. This wasn’t part of his job description, it was his personal mission. Michael’s job meant he was responsible for choosing the materials we had at our disposal, and he always put biodegradable and recycled options at the top of the list. That was pretty amazing, I wish more people took a stance like he did.
Michael was boycotting our choice of bottle caps because of the resources that we would waste shipping them across the Atlantic. Not to mention the pollution. The thought had never crossed my mind. His corporate activism changed that. We ended up going with his shiny bottle caps; it was the right thing to do on so many levels. They were cheaper, orders took a few weeks, etc. This was an eye opener for me. It got me thinking about all of the products we buy and the impact they have on the environment. My vision for the future is to have more businesses thinking about what’s right for the environment. For that to happen, we also need shoppers who care enough to be informed. As a consumer you'd never know that the bottle cap was shipped across the Atlantic. But we all buy toothpastes and throw the cardboard box away. That's a small piece of waste that is replicated millions of times every month. Why not do away with the box? We can use QR codes and the internet to get the product information, etc. So that’s my big idea! A business where Mother Earth is treated as a majority stockholder, and where consumers and employees care enough to be well informed about the environmental impact of our choices.
Follow the link for an excellent TedTalk by Fernando Ortiz of VerdeVertical. The opening is priceless.