How to Start a Sustainable Small Business

Does the phrase “sustainable small business” refer to a small business that contributes to environmental sustainability or to a small business that will last? The answer is both. Roughly 60 percent of millennials want to increase sustainability efforts in business. Millennials make up the largest group of consumers besides baby boomers, and 72 percent are willing to pay more for products from businesses committed to sustainability. “Brands that establish a reputation for environmental stewardship among today’s youngest consumers have an opportunity to

Why You Should Care About the NRDC’s Antibiotics Scorecard

Since 2015, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been publishing its Chain Reaction report, produced in collaboration with Friends of the Earth, Consumers Union, Food Animal Concerns Trust and Center for Food Safety. Chain Reaction is basically a report card, showing how well major fast-food (and -casual) restaurants are doing at limiting their reliance on meat products raised on antibiotics. Here’s a look at 2017’s scorecard: As you can see, far more restaurants earn an “F” than an “A.” Many of them probably don’t want you to see this scorecard. The NRDC’s report looks at where restaurants are getting meat and poultry, their policies, the total amount of antibiotics in their meat products

Raising Our Children to Support Sustainability in a Capitalist Society

When I was a kid, after a certain point I stopped wanting to do the things my parents forced me to do. You may have had a similar experience. The harder your parents tried to make you stay away from candy and obey curfew, the more you wanted to eat a ton of candy and break curfew. When it comes to down to a power struggle between you and your child, experts recommend letting your child make his or her own choices in a controlled environment. Learning how to make the small choices now prepares the child to make

U.S. Wind Power Gets a Boost from Startups, T-Mobile and … Big Oil

2017 marks the dividing line. This is the year U.S. companies must decide whether they will make and keep sustainability initiatives outside of any federal mandate to do so. With the current administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and weakening of the EPA, a governmental push towards environmental sustainability is virtually nonexistent. In fact, the government’s push is going the opposite direction. As part of a budgetary overhaul, recently the Interior Department

Startup Going Head to Head with Tesla in Solar-Powered Smart Home Market

In 2016, clean energy giant SunEdison set its sights on acquiring Vivint Solar, a rooftop solar panel installation company. In what unfolded as a sordid affair, Vivint terminated the deal. SunEdison didn’t have the funds to make good on the agreement due to an ill-advised acquisition spree. In order to recoup, it looked like Vivint would

Would Bill Gates’ Robot Tax Help Create Human Jobs?

As a humanist, Bill Gates has been on something of a roll. Recently, he launched Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion fund for startups working on promising sustainable energy solutions. This isn’t actually that much money compared to what’s needed for a game-changing solution, but Breakthrough Energy will be only part of the funding picture, and $1 billion is undoubtedly a real boost. A prolific philanthropist, Gates is perhaps making up for the years when the Bill

Deloitte Seeking to Increase Board Diversity by Highlighting the Lack of It

Can new information incite change? Deloitte is hoping so. The firm is focusing on diversity in corporate boardrooms, with the intent of helping executives understand just how important it is to include women and minorities in the boardroom picture. As part of the Alliance for Board Diversity, one of Deloitte’s aims is to increase board diversity to 40 percent representation from women and minorities, combined, by 2020. At

Elon Musk Set to Benefit Under Trump, But Will Sustainability?

NASA doesn’t just train astronauts and send them into space – it also does a good deal of Earth-related research, providing us with an overview of the planet’s continuing evolution, and making important contributions to our understanding of what’s happening to the Earth because of climate change. But with the coming inauguration of Donald Trump, that’s about to change. First, a bit of context: NASA space exploration began in 1958, partly as a response to Russia’s Soviet Sputnik program. Initially, the Space Act discouraged private space transport services, and made NASA the only provider of space transportation. The Apollo missions followed, during which NASA had 4.4 percent of the federal budget. By 2011, NASA’s

Square Wants to Rid the World of Paper Receipts. Why Hasn’t This Happened Already?

Have you ever been thankful the cashier didn’t ask if you want a receipt, because you’re tired of the paper piling up? You do your best to recycle receipts, but there’re still those that slip through the cracks into the trash. Have you ever wondered why we still have paper receipts in a digital world? Your annoyance is well-placed. According to mobile payments juggernaut Square, these little paper slips inflict the following damage

Could Hemp Disrupt the Energy Industry?

In West Virginia, residents will soon be seeing a lot more green than they’re used to. And it may come in the form of dollar bills, too. Researchers from West Virginia University are teaming up with a new startup called Agri Carb Electric Corporation to investigate the farming infrastructure benefits of hemp. This will mark the first time West Virginia has allowed hemp cultivation in 70 years. The state is taking advantage of

How the Good Work Movement Is Offering Security for Gig Economy Workers

Heard of the Good Work movement yet? If you haven’t, it’s probably because companies such as Uber and Airbnb get more press. The Good Work movement, founded by the National Domestic Workers Alliance in October, is a gathering of companies pledging to deliver the protections and benefits that gig companies such as Uber notoriously fail to offer.There’s a lot going on here, and the movement’s model is extremely important for the future of work. Here’s why.The ‘gig economy’ is blowing upChoose to call it what you will — the

Local vs Global: How AB InBev Is Helping to Change the Debate

Here in Idaho, we’re the number one barley-producing US state. But how much of that barley (and the profits from it) remains in the state, or even in the region?This is the type of question advocates for sustainability ask. We want to buy local and help sustain our local businesses. We want fresh farm produce delivered to our local businesses—such as Co-ops—where we buy the produce and help these farmers grow more crops. The local business profits, the farmer profits, and hopefully

Local vs Global: How AB InBev Is Helping to Changing the Debate

Here in Idaho, we’re the number one barley-producing US state. But how much of that barley (and the profits from it) remains in the state, or even in the region?This is the type of question advocates for sustainability ask. We want to buy local and help sustain our local businesses. We want fresh farm produce delivered to our local businesses—such as Co-ops—where we buy the produce and help these farmers grow more crops. The local business profits, the farmer profits, and hopefully, our health is bolstered by environmentally conscious growing practices the farmer employs.At first blush