Category Archives: Sustainability

Eco-Friendly Furniture for Your Office

Furniture options are about as diverse as it comes, but there is an evident spectrum of green to not-so-green types of furniture available. To make environmentally friendly choices, you will need to understand how different products are made and what components have a high environmental impact.

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Pet Adoption: A Lifetime Commitment

World Animal Day is celebrated annually on October 4. Its mission is to “raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe” (source).

Self-Counsel Press is proud to have published a book on how to improve the well-being of companion animals by adopting a greener lifestyle. One of  the green solutions Darcy Matheson, the author of Greening Your Pet Care, suggests is adoption, which she calls the “ultimate recycling.” However, a decision to adopt a pet should always be well thought out as it is a lifetime commitment. Continue reading

What Is a Green Office?

A green office is one that seeks to limit the amount of environmental resources that are used to conduct business. In the process of reducing its environmental impact, a business can reduce costs, increase staff morale, and enhance brand image. No matter what your organization, business, or group is, there are many easy and affordable ways your office can go green.

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What is the Carbon Footprint of Your Pet?

They’re small, they’re adorable, but few of us realize the enormous impact our companion animals have on the environment.

In their 2009 guide to sustainable living, authors Brenda and Robert Vale found that a medium-sized dog has a carbon footprint of 2.1 acres, roughly twice the 1 acre for a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle driven 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles) a year. It’s not just dogs that are contributing to pollution. The couple found that cats occupy the same footprint as a small Volkswagen, while two hamsters equal the same emissions as a plasma-screen television.

By their very nature, many family pets are carnivores, and it’s that meat-eating diet that contributes to their substantial carbon footprint. Producing the grain and meat for pet food consumes a vast amount of resources — specifically land, energy, and water. That meat production belches harmful greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere in staggering amounts. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates livestock production is responsible for 18 percent of all CO2 emissions worldwide. Continue reading

Greening Your Community: Food Waste

This is an excerpt from Greening Your Community: Strategies for Engaged Citizens, published by Self-Counsel Press | Spring 2015

According to a policy brief issued in 2008 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, close to half of all food produced is wasted in transit, at grocery stores, and in our kitchens. The authors state that the food crisis we face is not one of production, but one of waste. The policy brief asks governments to reduce food waste in half by 2025. Food waste is increased as the steps to process and ship the food increases. It is also something to be aware of in your own home, at work functions, and in schools. Continue reading