Sustainable Business Conversations, Sep-Oct 2017

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Sustainability Discussion October 26, 2017 Topic: Profitability in environmental terms

Build a community around each component of your business. Openness is important - a community cut off from new ideas dies eventually. Don't accept funding that does not match your purpose. Respect yourself and don't just go for the money. Money is stored energy. If you agree to something that you're not, it becomes an energy drain.

The right plant will not grow well in the wrong place.

By looking for ways to use waste materials, Susan formed a relationship with a florist who can use hop vines to make wreaths. Otherwise the vines would be discarded. This creates more community, more connections. Bring people together and see what happens. Be aware of whether or not you are in an environment that meets your needs and is healthy for you. To improve your environmental footprint, thinking about waste is a great place to start. Waste can be defined as resources in the wrong place. Other key issues for the environment are: energy, water and toxicity. Theater companies can think differently about how to dispose of waste materials from shows, such as sets, props or costumes or paint. You can donate paint to the community. Get to know your neighbors. Banks did not get interested in environmental impacts until there were economic consequences to pollution, based on Superfund regulations. When banks got hit with expensive cleanup costs for properties they foreclosed on, the Phase I environmental assessment industry got started. Environmental awareness can be based on avoiding a negative ((liability). Re-development of a steel mill complex in Germany created a new community with industrial flavor and tourism. Contamination had to be cleaned up and designers used the old buildings as possible.

When you're in an unhealthy environment, how do you know when to stay and fight or to flee?

Detroit is a small town. Things happen differently here. New folks need to learn how things work.

Sustainability Discussion November 2, 2017 Topic: Ideas for preparing for the cold weather

Perseverance is the top thing to get to sustainability. We were trying to find the cause of periodic loss of hot water at El Moore. It took three people to figure it out. Turned out that a valve on the device that mixes cleaning solutions was creating negative pressure and interfering with hot water flow. We talked about it a lot and listened to each other and figured it out. If you have a problem in sustainability get a group of people who care and talk about it. Always be a student.

Make yourself useful - what are some things to do to prepare for winter? Change the furnace filter. Wear warm clothing in layers Hot drinks (tea) and hot food (soups, stews) Fleecy throw blankets to stay warm Seal windows with plastic sheets and rope caulk Space heaters Make sure all windows are fully closed. Surprising how many windows are found cracked open Warm a bean bag in the microwave and use it to heat your bed. Add herbs (lavender, chamomile, hops) Use a hair dryer to warm up a bed Wear arm warmers or fingerless gloves while you work. Wear a hat Put weatherstripping around outer doors. Use a snake to reduce drafts Flannel is your friend - flannel sheets and pj's Be sure to close the fireplace flue. If you don't use the fireplace, install a balloon to seal the chimney. Close the garage door in an attached garage Use a programable thermostat to set back the heat when you're away Check the tire pressure on your car - changes with colder temperatures Lower the pressure in bike tires to get a better grip on snow or ice. Winterize your car - check battery, anti-freeze and windshield washer fluid Stock up on ice-melt pellets Smartwool products - sweaters, long johns, socks Wear outer clothes that are water and wind resistant Furry slippers Put a shovel in your car in case you get stuck or plowed in Put a blanket in your car and a broom Cook with spices, make hot curries and stir fries Tea to boost your immune system - rosemary, fresh garlic, ginger root and lemon juice Bitters to improve your health Make sure your pipes don't freeze Have an energy audit for your home to find places where cold air comes in