After the recent economic recession, we are all focussed on doing things ‘better’, more cost effective, with a concern for the environment. South Africa, as an economic leader in the continent and extremely reliable on fossil fuel, will have to set the example.
Recent research has shown that a growing number of consumers become more environmentally concerned. We will no longer be able to go about our everyday lives as usual. In this regard, we have a number of corporate trendsetters, whom has placed their focus on advocating, providing and educating towards more environmentally friendly attitudes.
The problem is, we do not always understand the what, why, who, when and how! In our search for alternative options, consumers are bombarded with environmentally friendly products and services, but one never knows what really works, and what the real effect of these products will be on the environment.
Our business is solidly grounded on the basis of biodiversity. Yet another confusing word, which merely means that we should take care of our planet as it was intended at the creation thereof. Embedded in this concept, we need to focus on the three P’s: PLANET, PEOPLE and PROSPERITY.
The PLANET: the current population of the earth requires one and a half of the planet’s resources merely to live (2010 GLOBAL REPORT). So, we need to firstly take careful consideration of what we use, what we dump and how we can use or dump less. Derived from this then, the principles of re-use, reduce and recycle. The environment (planet) offers us the opportunity to provide for ourselves and others by using the available resources with consideration, concern and responsibility.
The PEOPLE: We will always have people less fortunate than us amongst us. It is our human responsibility to take care of them. In our country, again, during 2010, more than a million people lost their jobs. We experience rising prices and food insecurity in all levels of life. We are bombarded with extreme poverty, and yet, there are people making a difference in the smallest of ways, like planting their own vegetable gardens and thus providing food for their families.
Again, the ‘how’ comes into effect. We, at ‘The Living Ghoen’ incorporated one of these enthusiastic gardeners in our business profile. A hard worker, aware of the advantages of growing food, and proud of his accomplishments, he will guide gardeners towards sustainable practices. In addition to this, he can create gardens, from the smallest container garden, to a large, sustainable herb and vegetable patch, that can provide sustainable food security to everyone in the need there of. He has also identified a number of recycled products which can be used or re-used to ease the process of reducing waste and the re-use of different waste products.
This concept is embedded in large corporate organisations, as part of their social responsibility initiatives. Many of us do not even know of this responsibility corporations have. But, where does that leave us? By merely attending one of our workshops on gardening, or sending your worker, or buying a ‘living gift’ you can start and maintain your own garden, buy less and save money and provide your family and those of your workers with healthy food, and contribute to a greener planet.
PROSPERITY: Without this aspect of biodiversity, no one will be able to work or to prosper in the global village. Again, South Africa is on the forefront of economic development. We recently joined the BRICS-group, whom works towards economic empowerment of developing nations. Again, we will have to set an example in reducing our carbon emissions. Even more so in view of the vulnerable state our country and continent is to the effects of global warming.
How does this affect us on the ground? By making a few changes to our everyday lifestyles, and change our attitudes towards the environment and healthy living, we can save a substantial amount of money, and at the same time provide job-opportunities for all to prosper.
Recent research (in South Africa) indicates that more than 70% of all consumers are concerned about the environment, and, will therefore move towards alternative products if it holds specific advantages. It has been proven that merely an attitude change can save up to 20 -30% on electricity costs!
The problem, again, is we don’t know!
Without this aspect of biodiversity, no one will be able to work or to prosper in the global village. Again, South Africa is on the forefront of economic development. We recently joined the BRICS-group, whom works towards economic empowerment of developing nations. We will have to set an example in reducing our carbon emissions. Even more so in view of the vulnerable state our country and continent is to the effects of global warming.