How does one say that a certain school

How does one say that a certain school or
organization is environmentally friendly? According to Holzer (2017), environmental friendliness or
commonly referred to as “eco-friendliness”, literally means “earth-friendly or
not harmful”.  This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green
living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy.  Eco-friendly products also prevent
contributions to air, water and land pollution. 
You can engage in eco-friendly habits or practices by being more
conscious of how you use resources. 
Further, “eco” is an abbreviation for ecology, the system of relationships
between living things, and with their environment.  “Friendly” implies beneficial, or at least not
harmful. It should follow that the term eco-friendly, when added to services or
products, indicates positive, or at least not harmful, effects on living
things.  Unfortunately there is no
regulation on the use of the term, which restricts its credibility.  It is only when the word is accompanied by
evidence of environmental performance that it has any empirical meaning, and
can be used as a genuine guide for consumers, especially when weighing up the
environmental preferred of products or services.

Measuring environmental
friendliness is a complicated yet important process.  Measuring environmental performance requires
tests by an officially sanctioned or qualified body, against factual benchmarks
defined and published by an independent party.  When these are passed or attained, the
organization may issue an ecolabel.  Even
then, the label can have varying degrees of robustness.  Organizations that can issue the strongest
ecolabels may become members of GEN, the Global Ecolabelling Network, and they
are regularly peer reviewed to ensure that they comply with the ISO
requirements.  GEN membership is
over-riding proof of the processes, tests and science needed to back up
“eco-friendly” labels.  Consumers can
check online whether an ecolabel on a product comes from a GEN member, and see
the symbols that these legitimate certifying agencies use.  So, if the eco-friendly product has proven
that it really is environmentally preferable, and is a friend to the
environment, it can be readily checked out on a smart phone, tablet or
computer.   An eco-friendly person has
similar attributes to an eco-friendly product.  They re-use, recycle and reduce waste disposal
in their lives.  They conserve energy and
natural resources, and they are conscious of the impact their actions have on
others, and the planet’s ecosystems.  It
is only natural that such people should seek compatible products.  Thus, if one wishes to know if an
organization or product is environmentally friendly, check if it has an
ecolabel.

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            Some organizations claim to be
environmentally friendly.  Companies
sometimes label their products “eco-friendly” or
“environmentally friendly” without them truly being so.  Called “greenwashing,” marketing
campaigns perpetuate this practice, aimed at helping companies increase their
product sales by appealing to ecologically conscious buyers as said by Holzer (2017).  Self-proclamations should not be trusted
immediately, especially if it is about these types of topics.  To avoid
purchasing “greenwashed” products, look for products approved by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star program or an ecologically
conscious consumer-advocacy group such as the Green Good Housekeeping Seal explains
Holzer (2017).  There are some qualifications in order to be
able to call a product “eco-friendly”.  Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both
environmental and human safety in mind. 
At a minimum, the product is non-toxic. 
Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of sustainably grown or
raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem.  Organic ingredients or materials are grown
without toxic pesticides or herbicides. Products with “made from recycled
materials” contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products
and made into something new. 
Biodegradable products break down through natural decomposition, which
is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole.  With this, one can now differentiate an eco-friendly
product from the rest.

            Implementing
environmental friendliness has many feats. 
Smith (2016) says that you might have a better shot at living a quality
life with health if you chose to go eco-friendly.  We
believe that development comes from construction, ideas, innovation and
strategies; but how about turning all our goals and aligning it with the
environment.  It will not only benefit
you but the environment as well.  In
order to promote the factor of sustainability and to conserve Mother Nature, it
is important for us to deviate from our conventional ways of greed and
exploitation and look for a better and brighter future.  If we as individuals take the initiative
of Going Green for a change, there will be better drive for development in
the areas which are related to green energies.  Recycling is also a wonderful activity through
which we cannot waste the used material and use it over and over again, which
in terms means that we are using are resources efficiently and smartly.  To put it into simple and a realistic
scenario; millions of tons of materials is gone to waste every day, industries
omit toxic chemicals in the oceans everyday making it harder for the marine
life to live a quality life, smokes are omitted from cars and factories and
thousands of trees our cut.  We are
exploiting our own nature without bearing in mind that what will possibly
happen in the future.  However, if we
decide to choose an alternative path, we can always save what we have lost.  The main
aspect of going eco-friendly is about sustainability.  Since the world is corrupted with pollution
and toxic amount of materials, making it sustainable can be a good call.  Business Queensland’s article “The Benefits
of an Environmental Friendly Business” (2017) supports this by stating that reducing
the environmental impact of your business will improve the sustainability of
your business.  If you are less dependent
on natural resources than your competitors and have ways to deal with rising
costs due to climate change, your business will have a greater chance of
long-term success regarding the market.  Thus,
the sooner a person makes their surroundings an environment friendly one, the
better their lives will be.

            There are various reasons why the environmental
friendliness of a certain organization is very important.   Smith
(2016) said that purchasing an eco-friendly product will cost you less than
buying a normal product.  It is because
materials that are used in eco-friendly products are raw materials.  Thus, these materials are easier to
manufacture and are easier to produce.   Smith (2016) also said that going eco-friendly improves your quality of life in
terms of mortality, age, diseases etc.  Therefore,
having an eco-friendly environment could save people’s lives.  According to Brannan (2014), living a life
that is to the planet is not all about recycling and reducing use of paper
products but it is also about making mindful choices that are better for the
human race as well as for the planet.  One
example of this is using a car, while so many of us are capable of walking two
blocks to McDonalds, most of us don’t.  In
a society wherein we emphasize the importance of every last-minute, we prefer
to step in to our cars and drive those two blocks to get our fried chicken or
French fries and then drive home.  Not
only is this one of the bad habits that has contributed to the incredible rates
of obesity in developed nations like the United States, but it is also a habit
that contributes to the incredible carbon footprint that we as a species are
leaving upon the Earth.  Certainly some
are more conscious in their laziness and choose to utilize hybrid and electric
cars; however, while this reduces the carbon footprint it does not reduce the
drain of an obese race on the resources of the planet.  As human beings, we have a responsibility in
maintaining our planet. 

Most business organizations encourage an
eco-friendly environment.  Weis and
Poppick (2016) said that reducing the carbon footprint of business
organizations may not be their main goal, but being eco-friendly can actually
save a big money for business organizations and would eventually improve the
quality of their workplace.  Seppala and
Cameron (2015) said that:

Although there’s an
assumption that stress and pressure push employees to perform more, better, and
faster, what cutthroat organizations fail to recognize is the hidden costs
incurred.  The reality is that health
care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other organizations. 
The American Psychological Association estimates that
more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of
workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on
the job.  Sixty percent to 80% of
workplace 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 health
problems ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease and
mortality.

Delmas’s study (as cited by Hewitt, 2012) said
that, green
certifications should be used by managers to increase efficiency, by
prospective employees as a sign of a better work environment, and by investors
as an indicator of good management practices. 
Previous research has already shown that sustainable business practices
can result in cost-efficiencies, but Delmas and Pekovic are the first to
explore the link to labor productivity.  Thus,
having an eco-friendly environment is related to productivity of employees and
the performance of business organizations. 

Eco-friendliness also affects smaller organizations like
schools.  Just like business
organizations, eco-friendliness affects schools in a positive way.  Most conversations regarding the performance
of students, revolve around the design of the curriculum.  The discussion revolves around which topics
to discuss during this quarter or that quarter and how do school adjust to the
curriculum.  However, the design of the
curriculum is not only what we should be thinking of.  Instead, we should also be thinking of the
environment of the school itself whether it is conducive for learning or not.  According to an article by United States
Environmental Protection Agency (2017), studies show
that one-half of United States of America’s 115,000 schools have problems
linked to indoor air quality (IAQ).  Fedrizzi
(2015) said that green technologies are the key to conducive and efficient
environment for students.  In 2010, the
Lake Mills Middle School in Wisconsin became the first LEED Platinum public
school in America, in which they use green technologies in which they use
highly efficient geothermal system for heating and cooling, and energy-sipping
lighting.  As a result, the middle school
saves $85,000 a year on energy.  Sanders
(2010), said that the school’s students, staff, and district administrators in
the middle school have reduced respiratory illnesses; and the students’
attendance improved greatly for there are fewer absences after the adaptation
of green technologies. 

Though eco friendliness seems to be very
purely advantageous, there are also some who refute claims that
eco-friendliness is beneficial to organizations.  Lake (2017) argues that though eco-friendliness
seems to be very advantageous, it is also costly.  For example, the use of solar panels can
possibly save you money on your energy bills, but they can cost thousands of pesos
to install. Energy-efficient appliances are designed to use less electricity
and 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 unless
you choose to grow your own food, you should assume to pay significantly more
for foods grown organically rather than through conventional growing methods.

According to Hamel (2010), it is very hard
to gradually switch to an eco-friendly environment especially in the business
world. Though going more eco-friendly seems to be an attractive goal to gain
goodwill and consumer support, but unless green improvements are economically
feasible, 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 new
technology and workers, while another sets loose standards, the second company
will be at an advantage since they will have lower production or opportunity
costs.  Even if national standards were
imposed to force businesses to be eco-friendly, this could put them at a
competitive disadvantage with respect to foreign companies who are not required
to be an eco-friendly organization.

The same practical principles apply to
schools 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 the
Philippines where implementation of laws can be very unpredictable. Schools
must be totally ready for such a big change. And of course, the government
needs to prepare a big amount of money for the schools to be more eco-friendly.

One practical example is the segregation of
wastes. Schools cannot expect a toddler to segregate his/her garbage. Thus,
knowledge regarding environmental issues and how to solve environmental
problems is a radical factor. It will be hard for younger students to cope up
with environmental practices.

However, the long-term effects of being
eco-friendly is much greater than its cost of implementation.  Schools would nurture more
environmentally-aware individuals who would care for our planet.  Thus, theoretically, in the long run, they
would be the ones who will focus their researches on saving our planet and
saving the human race itself.  It may
cost the government a big amount of money in the short-run, but the next
generations would realize how the destruction of earth has been prevented by
this generation of the 21st century.

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