Controlling Our Destiny
May 1, 2008 By Pulp & Paper Canada
The environment is an overwhelming topic. One than many people find, well, depressing. We can feel helpless against what seems like a black, unstoppable cloud. The melting of the glaciers, threatened …
The environment is an overwhelming topic. One than many people find, well, depressing. We can feel helpless against what seems like a black, unstoppable cloud. The melting of the glaciers, threatened species, polluted waterways and oceans, the shrinking of wetlands due to human habitation, reduced ozone, global warming, more severe weather….
Wow. That is depressing. But let’s look at it from a different perspective and see if the sky lightens.
An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar, and Al Gore decided winning a Nobel Peace Prize was better than being President. A material called polar fleece was born out of recycled plastic bottles. The world is crying out for recycled paper, cardboard, aluminum and other resources. More and more people understand that recycling is a duty, not an option. Business and industry around the world do focus on reducing energy usage. The hybrid car is a reality. “Carbon neutral” is becoming a household term.
The world is damaged from years of unrelenting abuse. Like children, we reveled in the success of our inventions without considering the repercussions of our actions. Progress, we called it. Many still deny the harm we have done and continue to do to the planet. But more people than ever acknowledge that the problem is real. They encourage and pressure governments and industry to take action now. And governments and industry are taking action -even if it is not enough nor happening fast enough.
And then there is the Internet. It has changed the way the world communicates and this has raised the consciousness of the planet. An evening spent surfing the net will provide the basics on what the most critical environmental issues are, and what individuals can do to reduce their own footprint on the planet. And the answers don’t strictly apply to physical, tangible actions. The answers become a way of thinking, a global awareness that some consider akin to spirituality.
Perhaps the road ahead is endless, and we are just at the beginning of the journey. But the journey has begun and it’s gaining momentum with every step. For instance, 20 years ago it would have been difficult to create a “green” issue of this magazine. It’s the first of its kind for this publication. But we discovered there are so many “green” topics to write about for this industry, we couldn’t fit them all in.
It’s not just about being good to the planet. It’s about being profitable. Once considered a non-recoverable expense, going green today makes good financial sense. In fact, many suppliers to the pulp and paper industry base their entire service on helping mills go, and stay, green.
As you leaf through this issue, you will read about growing organizations, successful consultants and companies, authors, government and more -all dealing with the business of being green. It’s a lot easier to be green than it once was, and the rewards are many.
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