As ideas change and new products become popular, the word “Green” has firmly become associated with concepts such as pollution, sustainability and conservation.
But these are three very separate concepts.
Pollution is the damage we do to the living environment. It is the contamination of air, water, or soil by substances that are harmful to all living organisms, including humans.
Pollution can occur naturally, for example through volcanic eruptions, or as the result of human actions, such as the spilling of oil.
We have created light pollution and noise pollution, as well as thermal pollution into our waterways.
And many of us create indoor pollution when we use chemicals in our home. New paint, new furniture, new wood and new carpets all leave harmful fumes as they continue to dry.
Air-conditioners recirculate dust which contains bacteria, virus, dust mite faeces and scales and so much more.
Many schools have a very polluted indoor environment because they use so many harsh chemicals to try and kill any harmful bacteria.
Sustainability relates to our practices, the management of our resources in a way that can be continued with minimal negative long term effects.
So a sustainable business considers the demands it places on all types of resources. Sustainability applies to our social interactions, our environment and economic markets, or what is now often defined as: “people + planet + profit”.
Conservation is about the protection of the existing natural environment, so it remains pristine and healthy.
Being green doesn’t mean going without, but considering all the small steps we can take to make a difference. A Green business is one that abstains from polluting and which promotes sustainability in the workplace, in the community, and in the world.
And the same practices apply to our home: we can become green in small steps, reducing pollution at home and looking for sustainable products.