How does one say that a certain school ororganization is environmentally friendly? According to Holzer (2017), environmental friendliness orcommonly referred to as “eco-friendliness”, literally means “earth-friendly ornot harmful”. This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to greenliving or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Eco-friendly products also preventcontributions to air, water and land pollution.
You can engage in eco-friendly habits or practices by being moreconscious of how you use resources. Further, “eco” is an abbreviation for ecology, the system of relationshipsbetween living things, and with their environment. “Friendly” implies beneficial, or at least notharmful.
It should follow that the term eco-friendly, when added to services orproducts, indicates positive, or at least not harmful, effects on livingthings. Unfortunately there is noregulation on the use of the term, which restricts its credibility. It is only when the word is accompanied byevidence of environmental performance that it has any empirical meaning, andcan be used as a genuine guide for consumers, especially when weighing up theenvironmental preferred of products or services.Measuring environmentalfriendliness is a complicated yet important process. Measuring environmental performance requirestests by an officially sanctioned or qualified body, against factual benchmarksdefined and published by an independent party.
When these are passed or attained, theorganization may issue an ecolabel. Eventhen, the label can have varying degrees of robustness. Organizations that can issue the strongestecolabels may become members of GEN, the Global Ecolabelling Network, and theyare regularly peer reviewed to ensure that they comply with the ISOrequirements. GEN membership isover-riding proof of the processes, tests and science needed to back up”eco-friendly” labels.
Consumers cancheck online whether an ecolabel on a product comes from a GEN member, and seethe symbols that these legitimate certifying agencies use. So, if the eco-friendly product has proventhat it really is environmentally preferable, and is a friend to theenvironment, it can be readily checked out on a smart phone, tablet orcomputer. An eco-friendly person hassimilar attributes to an eco-friendly product. They re-use, recycle and reduce waste disposalin their lives. They conserve energy andnatural resources, and they are conscious of the impact their actions have onothers, and the planet’s ecosystems.
Itis only natural that such people should seek compatible products. Thus, if one wishes to know if anorganization or product is environmentally friendly, check if it has anecolabel. Some organizations claim to beenvironmentally friendly. Companiessometimes label their products “eco-friendly” or”environmentally friendly” without them truly being so.
Called “greenwashing,” marketingcampaigns perpetuate this practice, aimed at helping companies increase theirproduct sales by appealing to ecologically conscious buyers as said by Holzer (2017). Self-proclamations should not be trustedimmediately, especially if it is about these types of topics. To avoidpurchasing “greenwashed” products, look for products approved by theU.
S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star program or an ecologicallyconscious consumer-advocacy group such as the Green Good Housekeeping Seal explainsHolzer (2017). There are some qualifications in order to beable to call a product “eco-friendly”. Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps bothenvironmental and human safety in mind. At a minimum, the product is non-toxic.
Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of sustainably grown orraised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem. Organic ingredients or materials are grownwithout toxic pesticides or herbicides. Products with “made from recycledmaterials” contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste productsand made into something new. Biodegradable products break down through natural decomposition, whichis less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole.
With this, one can now differentiate an eco-friendlyproduct from the rest. Implementingenvironmental friendliness has many feats. Smith (2016) says that you might have a better shot at living a qualitylife with health if you chose to go eco-friendly. Webelieve that development comes from construction, ideas, innovation andstrategies; but how about turning all our goals and aligning it with theenvironment.
It will not only benefityou but the environment as well. Inorder to promote the factor of sustainability and to conserve Mother Nature, itis important for us to deviate from our conventional ways of greed andexploitation and look for a better and brighter future. If we as individuals take the initiativeof Going Green for a change, there will be better drive for development inthe areas which are related to green energies. Recycling is also a wonderful activity throughwhich we cannot waste the used material and use it over and over again, whichin terms means that we are using are resources efficiently and smartly. To put it into simple and a realisticscenario; millions of tons of materials is gone to waste every day, industriesomit toxic chemicals in the oceans everyday making it harder for the marinelife to live a quality life, smokes are omitted from cars and factories andthousands of trees our cut. We areexploiting our own nature without bearing in mind that what will possiblyhappen in the future. However, if wedecide to choose an alternative path, we can always save what we have lost. The mainaspect of going eco-friendly is about sustainability.
Since the world is corrupted with pollutionand toxic amount of materials, making it sustainable can be a good call. Business Queensland’s article “The Benefitsof an Environmental Friendly Business” (2017) supports this by stating that reducingthe environmental impact of your business will improve the sustainability ofyour business. If you are less dependenton natural resources than your competitors and have ways to deal with risingcosts due to climate change, your business will have a greater chance oflong-term success regarding the market. Thus,the sooner a person makes their surroundings an environment friendly one, thebetter their lives will be. There are various reasons why the environmentalfriendliness of a certain organization is very important. Smith(2016) said that purchasing an eco-friendly product will cost you less thanbuying a normal product.
It is becausematerials that are used in eco-friendly products are raw materials. Thus, these materials are easier tomanufacture and are easier to produce. Smith (2016) also said that going eco-friendly improves your quality of life interms of mortality, age, diseases etc. Therefore,having an eco-friendly environment could save people’s lives. According to Brannan (2014), living a lifethat is to the planet is not all about recycling and reducing use of paperproducts but it is also about making mindful choices that are better for thehuman race as well as for the planet. Oneexample of this is using a car, while so many of us are capable of walking twoblocks to McDonalds, most of us don’t.
Ina society wherein we emphasize the importance of every last-minute, we preferto step in to our cars and drive those two blocks to get our fried chicken orFrench fries and then drive home. Notonly is this one of the bad habits that has contributed to the incredible ratesof obesity in developed nations like the United States, but it is also a habitthat contributes to the incredible carbon footprint that we as a species areleaving upon the Earth. Certainly someare more conscious in their laziness and choose to utilize hybrid and electriccars; however, while this reduces the carbon footprint it does not reduce thedrain of an obese race on the resources of the planet. As human beings, we have a responsibility inmaintaining our planet. Most business organizations encourage aneco-friendly environment.
Weis andPoppick (2016) said that reducing the carbon footprint of businessorganizations may not be their main goal, but being eco-friendly can actuallysave a big money for business organizations and would eventually improve thequality of their workplace. Seppala andCameron (2015) said that:Although there’s anassumption that stress and pressure push employees to perform more, better, andfaster, what cutthroat organizations fail to recognize is the hidden costsincurred. The reality is that healthcare expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other organizations. The American Psychological Association estimates thatmore than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because ofworkplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress onthe job.
Sixty percent to 80% ofworkplace accidents are attributed to stress, and it’s estimated that more than 80% of doctor visits are due to stress. Workplace stress has been linked to healthproblems ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease andmortality.Delmas’s study (as cited by Hewitt, 2012) saidthat, greencertifications should be used by managers to increase efficiency, byprospective employees as a sign of a better work environment, and by investorsas an indicator of good management practices. Previous research has already shown that sustainable business practicescan result in cost-efficiencies, but Delmas and Pekovic are the first toexplore the link to labor productivity. Thus,having an eco-friendly environment is related to productivity of employees andthe performance of business organizations. Eco-friendliness also affects smaller organizations likeschools. Just like businessorganizations, eco-friendliness affects schools in a positive way.
Most conversations regarding the performanceof students, revolve around the design of the curriculum. The discussion revolves around which topicsto discuss during this quarter or that quarter and how do school adjust to thecurriculum. However, the design of thecurriculum is not only what we should be thinking of.
Instead, we should also be thinking of theenvironment of the school itself whether it is conducive for learning or not. According to an article by United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency (2017), studies showthat one-half of United States of America’s 115,000 schools have problemslinked to indoor air quality (IAQ). Fedrizzi(2015) said that green technologies are the key to conducive and efficientenvironment for students.
In 2010, theLake Mills Middle School in Wisconsin became the first LEED Platinum publicschool in America, in which they use green technologies in which they usehighly efficient geothermal system for heating and cooling, and energy-sippinglighting. As a result, the middle schoolsaves $85,000 a year on energy. Sanders(2010), said that the school’s students, staff, and district administrators inthe middle school have reduced respiratory illnesses; and the students’attendance improved greatly for there are fewer absences after the adaptationof green technologies. Though eco friendliness seems to be verypurely advantageous, there are also some who refute claims thateco-friendliness is beneficial to organizations. Lake (2017) argues that though eco-friendlinessseems to be very advantageous, it is also costly. For example, the use of solar panels canpossibly save you money on your energy bills, but they can cost thousands of pesosto install. Energy-efficient appliances are designed to use less electricityand water but they are often harder to avail and have a higher price tag.Eating organic foods is another way to becoming more eco-friendly, but unlessyou choose to grow your own food, you should assume to pay significantly morefor foods grown organically rather than through conventional growing methods.
According to Hamel (2010), it is very hardto gradually switch to an eco-friendly environment especially in the businessworld. Though going more eco-friendly seems to be an attractive goal to gaingoodwill and consumer support, but unless green improvements are economicallyfeasible, it can put a business at a competitive disadvantage. If one company decides to obey to strict,self-imposed pollution standards which require the installation of newtechnology and workers, while another sets loose standards, the second companywill be at an advantage since they will have lower production or opportunitycosts.
Even if national standards wereimposed to force businesses to be eco-friendly, this could put them at acompetitive disadvantage with respect to foreign companies who are not requiredto be an eco-friendly organization.The same practical principles apply toschools when they are eventually required to be an eco-friendly organization.It will be harder for schools to adjust to a big change. Specially here in thePhilippines where implementation of laws can be very unpredictable. Schoolsmust be totally ready for such a big change. And of course, the governmentneeds to prepare a big amount of money for the schools to be more eco-friendly.
One practical example is the segregation ofwastes. Schools cannot expect a toddler to segregate his/her garbage. Thus,knowledge regarding environmental issues and how to solve environmentalproblems is a radical factor. It will be hard for younger students to cope upwith environmental practices. However, the long-term effects of beingeco-friendly is much greater than its cost of implementation.
Schools would nurture moreenvironmentally-aware individuals who would care for our planet. Thus, theoretically, in the long run, theywould be the ones who will focus their researches on saving our planet andsaving the human race itself. It maycost the government a big amount of money in the short-run, but the nextgenerations would realize how the destruction of earth has been prevented bythis generation of the 21st century.