Should Businesses Be Concerned About Renewable Energy Resources?
Today our life expectancy more than doubles that of the 1800 and 1900s. Unsurprisingly, as people live longer, populations are expanding. While populations expand the natural needs to sustain life increase. This can put a strain on our natural resources and our planet.
Earth Day was created to remind us to take care of the Earth. Its purpose is to increase awareness on wasting or taking for granted these natural resources. Knowing what these resources are and ways to take care of them will help the earth to help us continue growing and thriving.
Join us as we celebrate Earth Day by taking steps to reduce dependency on natural resources!
What are Natural Resources?
Natural resources are the things that exist freely in nature as the basis for all life on Earth. These resources like water (fresh and seas), land, forests (vegetation), fossil fuels and minerals are all connected in some way. If one is removed another or all are affected.
Natural resources consist of two types of materials (renewable and non-renewable) that are consumed every day. These renewable and non-renewable resources should be well maintained as they are essential to life on our planet.
What is a Renewable Resource?
A renewable resource is a resource which can be used repeatedly because it is replaced naturally. Resources like oxygen, fresh water, solar energy, timber, and biomass are considered renewable. Manufactured items like wood, paper, and leather are also considered renewable because their sources are renewable.
What is a Non-Renewable Resource?
A non-renewable resource is a resource of economic value that exist in limited supply or a resource that cannot be readily replaced by natural means on a level equal to its consumption. The most common example of a non-renewable resource is fossil fuels because they take billions of years to form and are in high demand.
Is There a Strain on These Resources?
Since 1970 Earth’s population has been over consuming. Since 2005 the amount of natural resources yearly produced by the earth have been consumed in only the first eight months of that year. The other four months of resources that are consumed are being taken from what should be saved to maintain future generations.
What Are Businesses Doing to Help?
As of 2015 sixty-seven percent of the electricity generated in America comes from fossil fuels. Some enterprise businesses are making major investments in their own solar or wind farms to curb their use of these non-renewable resources. Microsoft has been 100% powered by renewable energy since 2014. Apple, Google, and Facebook are racing towards operating completely on renewable energy sources. In 2015 Apple claimed to have met 93% of their goal to utilize only renewable energy. Additionally, today Tesla Motors is working on batteries that would remove fossil fuel dependency.
Moreover a recent surge in technological innovations, dubbed the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) by the World Economic Forum, can potentially positively impact people and the planet. These technologies have the ability to perform smarter by yielding energy efficient results with clean power, smart transport, sustainable production and consumption, and more.
The digital category of the 4IR includes the advancements of cloud technology, big data analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT). These three contribute by providing solutions that directly help to address environmental challenges. Cloud technology with big data can help to monitor deforestation, optimize renewable energy supply and demand, and gather further information for sustainability efforts. While the IoT provides the ability for businesses to track supply chains, reduce waste, and to have smart systems for buildings that would efficiently manage heating, lighting, and more.
What Can Your Business Do?
The desire to live is inherent. We have it, our children have it, their children will have it, and generations after will have the same desire. You don’t have to be a fanatic to realize if you don’t take care of your possessions they won’t last long. Earth and its natural resources – the basis for life here – should be maintained in order to sustain our future generations.
While buying and maintaining a solar or wind farm is more than likely not within budget, there are several small things that your business can do to play its part as a good steward of our environment. Two ways that any business can help to make a positive impact for future generations are to recycle and curb consumption.
Recycling reduces landfill over use and abuse. Everyday business items like paper, cardboard boxes, packing materials, and ink/toner cartridges can be recycled. A simple bin system can be set up to start this stewardship. This small cost today can bring a large payoff for the future.
Three simple ways to curb consumption of energy (fossil fuels), water, and other natural resources are Turn It Off, Change It Out, and Go Paperless. Electric bills and fossil fuel emissions can be cut by simply turning off electronics and any unnecessary lights. Changing out light bulbs to LED lights can reduce your light bill by about 85% and reduce carbon emissions as well. Changing any old toilets to low flow toilets will reduce your water bill and help to conserve water. Whereas automating workflow processes and going paperless will inadvertently curb electric and water consumption by reducing the amount of unnecessary time spent in the office, as well contribute to saving trees that clean and give us air to breathe.
Alone these are simply ideas. To see an impact in the future we will need to put them into practice at home and at our places of business. This Earth Day take the time to be aware and make a change to better our environment, no matter how small. Because what seems small now can build into a larger benefit for all. Happy Earth Day!
- Earth Day Network
- Sustainable Communities Online
- Earth Sharing.Org
- Renewable Energy is Making a Breakthrough in the USA
- “Are We In Danger of Running Out of Non-Renewable Resources?” 6 November, 2016
- “Are We Using Up More Than What is Available?” 22 March, 2014
- “The 6 Natural Resources Most Drained by Our 7 Billion People,” 31 October 2011
- “We’ve Already Used Up the Earth’s Resources for 2016 – And It’s Only August,” 8 August 2016
- “Earth is Now in Overdraft for This Year: We’ve Used Up the Planet’s Resources for 2016 in Less than Eight Months,” 8 August, 2016
- Innovation for the Earth, World Economic Forum, January, 2017
- Introduction to Natural Resources
- Microsoft Renewable Energy
- “How 4 Tech Companies are Making a Difference with Sustainability & Efficiency Programs,” 12 May, 2016
- “Google, Apple, Facebook Race Toward 100% Renewable Energy Target,” 6 December, 2016
- Top Tips to Help Your Business Do Its Best for the Environment
- “Tesla’s Battery Revolution Just Reached Critical Mass,” 31 January, 2017
- “Light Bulb Showdown: LED vs. CFL vs. Incandescent,” 29 April 2015