I was unfortunately only able to attend the closing ceremony/panel of the sustainability symposium, where the main topic of the conversation was: How do we keep the enthusiasm created in this symposium and carry it to the future?
I have participated and leaded several conferences when I was in high school and I understand how excited people are about action plans making an exhaustive list of what to do next within the last sessions, but almost all the times not even half of the things on that list is accomplished by the next years conference. Why is that? Because the enthusiasm of the people decay very quickly, and therefore they don’t start their action plans until right before the next conference, which is too late to accomplish any goal that was initially put on the list.
The main solution that was suggested by students and professors was: BETTER COMMUNICATION. From their point of view of the people participating in the panel, if the different schools that participated in the symposium somehow find a way of communication, kept in touch and informed each other about all the projects they are doing, then the enthusiasm wouldn’t be lost. A lot of people suggested different ideas about how to communicate, and one person was taking exhaustive notes again in order to implement this communication action plan.
Sustaining communication is also a big effort and needs enough enthusiasm for people to follow through with it. Creating communication is easy, we live in a very social world with tools such as social media, ability to conduct video conferences etc., but since as the enthusiasm decays, communication also decays, so the main question here is: how to we sustain the communication?
Chipotle opened its first store in 1993 and has seen astonishing growth and financial success since going public in 2006. Chipotle has been one of the industry’s leaders in serving and promoting sustainable food. Its high-quality natural food has given it a competitive advantage over competitors in a market that is increasingly becoming more conscious about what they eat. Chipotle has a mission of serving “Food with Integrity” to its customers. Chipotle is committed to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for animals, the environment, and farmers. Chipotle brands its meats as naturally, or “Responsibly“ raised, which entails treating animals humanely without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. Many of its other ingredients are organic and do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Chipotle has been considered a pioneer in creating and promoting sustainable food chains. Despite its measured success in its food sourcing, Chipotle has been unethical within some of the social aspects of the supply chain, most notably its policies towards its employees. Chipotle has had problems with its hiring process as it is still being investigated over hiring illegal and undocumented workers. They also have several pending class action lawsuits from employees who are systematically unpaid for overtime hours as a result of Chipotle’s policies and practices. Chipotle needs to address these policies in order to have a sustainable food chain, which not only involves the food it serves, but the people serving it. Chipotle has an opportunity to change the industry to become more sustainable. Chipotle raises awareness about the problems within the food industry through advertisement campaigns. These advertisements can help change consumer behaviors to demand more sustainable foods, which will in turn force other restaurants to provide sustainable foods in order to meet this demand. Chipotle and sustainable suppliers can also use their relative competitive advantage to further influence competitors to become sustainable. This will create a market in which more sustainable suppliers are available, which will drive food prices down and quality standards higher. This will create a cycle in which sustainable food chains take over the existing marketplace.
Continue reading Chipotle and its quest for sustainable food
Our society’s modern mobility started off with public transportation in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Urban and intercity railways became the regular mode of transportation for the growing middle class. The twentieth century was when investments in the improvements of roads increased allowing motor buses to serve less affluent and smaller communities off of main routes. Continue reading LEARNING TO LOVE MASS TRANSIT IN A CAR OBSESSESD SOCIETY
Millennials are one of the largest generations to date. 77 million strong, they make up a quarter of the US population. With members spanning from adolescents to young adults, they will have a significant impact on the future of our country and of our planet. To meet some of the world’s biggest challenges, they will have to utilize their diversity, youth, and technological capabilities to enact change. Continue reading Sharing vs. Caring: How Millennial Smartphone Addiction Can Better Serve Society
Our world today is more polluted than ever. Though recycling practices continue to improve, our daily trash is often still dumped into landfills across the world. These man-made structures are detrimental to our environment and are a temporary fix for a long-term problem. My challenge for Elon Musk would be to create a way to power our everyday gadgets, buildings, and automobiles with common trash.
Continue reading Where we’re going, we need sustainability
I wanted to take Greg’s idea of heated roads a step further to challenge Elon Musk to invent solar roadways and parking lots. These roads and parking lots would not just be able to make roads safer, but they would completely change our roads as we know them. Roads and especially parking lots are almost always exposed to the sun. What if we could figure out a way to turn this valuable sunlight to into energy? We would be able to make roads that could provide energy to the grid. Vast parking lots could cut down the energy used by the buildings and stores that built them. An electrical engineer and his counselor wife originally proposed this idea. However, without the money and resources, they have been slow to get their idea to work. Elon Musk’s expertise, creativity, and resources could help commercialize this innovative idea…. Continue reading Solar Roadways?
The human body, at any given moment, produces energy equivalent to a 100 watt light bulb. -Sebastian Anthony
The discovery of electricity led to the finding of lighting, changed the way our society functioned and thrived. The introduction of this new technology helped change the way we operate at night and later finding how much more productive our society can actually be. Lighting has become so integrated into our lives that we are not trying to find new sources of producing this light at a cheaper cost. In the US and other developed countries, we take lighting for granted and we do not realize how many benefits they are actually provide us. Individuals who live in third world countries or rural communities they do not have the technology, money, and/or infrastructure to actually receive light. Continue reading Use Your Body as a Energy Conductor…
As our society becomes more worried about the scarcity of water and environmental sustainability, Coca-Cola may have found the solution. You are not able to supplement Coca-Cola beverages for drinking water as well as bathing and cooking purposes. “Researchers at Oregon State University found that 68 percent of the earth’s supply of potable water is trapped in Coca-Cola products” (The Onion). Continue reading Drinking Coke is the solution to California’s Drought
Chipotle and the Ethical Burrito
Chipotle opened its first store in 1993 and has seen astonishing growth and financial success since going public in 2006. Chipotle has been one of the industry’s leaders in serving sustainable food. It is trying to change the way people think about and eat fast-food. It has recently been marketing its commitment to serving high-quality and sustainable ingredients through various media outlets and programs. Despite being considered an industry leader in sustainability, Chipotle’s advertisement and practices have been criticized for being unethical and misleading to customers. The ethics of its advertisement and practices have been questioned, but nevertheless, Chipotle is shining the necessary light into the problems of the farming and agriculture industry. Chipotle is making consumers more aware and conscious about what they are eating. Even if not all of Chipotles practices are completely ethical or sustainable, it is setting an example that other companies in the industry can follow.
Continue reading The Case for the Ethical Burrito: A Kantian Perspective on Advertisement
Our world moves exponentially faster today than it ever has before. Utilizing incredible advancements in technology, we have been able to revolutionize the ways we live, communicate, and conduct business. Corporations, many of which began as very small operations, now control billions of dollars and employ thousands of workers all across the globe. Unfortunately, our consumption-based culture has created an artificial “environment” that exists within the greater ecosystem of our planet. For it to thrive, we rely the natural world to supply these corporations with raw materials, which are later converted into consumable products often at the lowest possible cost. Sadly, these gifts are discarded back into the environment as waste, resulting in the unprecedented levels of pollution we experience today. Our current technological capabilities have facilitated this process, and have become one of the greatest threats to the health of our planet. However, one might ask, is it possible that these immensely powerful corporations could utilize their resources to help establish a respect for the natural world from which we have grown so distant? In the following paper I will prove that Patagonia is a corporation that does not only compete at the highest level in its industry, but remains committed to environmentally responsible business practices. Using the Kantian approach to ethics known as deontology, I will evaluate Patagonia’s business activities and demonstrate how a focus on sustainability can simultaneously benefit both the natural world and a company’s bottom line. Continue reading Patagonia: An Exemplar of Deontology