If every car in the United States idled 5 minutes less a day we'd save 13 million tons of CO2. If "smart" power outlets stopped delivering current to electronics sucking up juice in standby mode, we'd save 10% of household electricity use.
Okay, maybe reducing waste won't solve the climate crisis, but it makes a start, and we don't have to wait around for new technologies or renewable power sources or even politicians to do us the favor of deciding that global warming is an important issue.
One person cutting waste can make a substantial difference in their power consumption. Saving waste, when extended to buildings, businesses and towns, can be huge. I'm not talking--at least in this post--about denying ourselves anything. I'm simply talking, for example, about turning things off when they are not being used.
Think of the carbon emissions a trucking or livery business could save by training drivers not to let their engines idle. Think of the carbon saved by a hotel chain that installed motion sensors to turn off lights and air conditioners in vacant rooms.
Now think of the money saved if you reduced the fuel, paper, food, packaging, heating, air conditioning or electricity waste in your own business, building or town. Running your organization environmentally more than likely means nothing like increased costs. In fact, on the one hand, save the planet. On the other, cha-ching!
PS If you have ideas for saving waste, you've found a way to get your organization to waste less, your organization has benefited by reducing waste, or you or your organization or town have adopted simple, easy to implement policies that make a big difference, please leave a comment behind to let us all know.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.