Sustainability is a word that you hear bantered about quite a bit these days. But what does it really mean? According to The Healthy Planet, sustainability means:
• “Improving the energy efficiency of operations through investment in energy-monitoring tools and educating the workforce in green practices.
• Conducting business in ways that reduce waste and pursuing green purchasing programs.
• Consideration of renewable energy sources to power operations by investing in solar and wind, or by buying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) to offset and reduce their carbon footprint.
• Designing new buildings and retrofitting existing buildings to green standards.”
In the area of food sustainability it means growing food in soil where the nutrients haven’t all been farmed out. It means putting back into the environment what you have taken out. Another word that you hear frequently nowadays is “carbon footprint.” Everyone has a carbon foot print, but some people have bigger ones than others.
Sustainable food means that farmers will leave part of their land fallow like they used to instead of planting year round. They will use the waste from the farm animals to powers their equipment. Everything in the Earth is just one big circle and if we can make the farms self sufficient eco systems them we can grow crops more efficiently.
What we need is help on the consumer end so all of this good work doesn’t go to waste. Find out which farms in your area are sustainable and buy food from them. Not all organic farmers at the local farmer’s market do sustainable farming, so be sure to ask.
Sustainable St. Louis is planning two important initiatives for the near future that will help. The are compiling an index of local governments that are willing to participate and develop standards by which everyone will go by.
Another initiative is set forth by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Administration encouraging businesses to move towards sustainability. The businesses will then earn the opportunity to earn rewards based on their efforts to keep their business sustainable.
All of this green will cost extra money, but that cost should be offset by increased productivity. Efficiency will be increased because the buildings and factories that thee companies build will be green and use less energy.
All in all these efforts will make theSt. Louis area a cleaner and better pl;ace in which to work and live, cut down on pollution and decrease everyone’s carbon footprint.