When people hear “go green,” they often think they need to make big bold changes to their lifestyle, but earth-conscious living is about making small incremental shifts that can have a great impact. “It’s about creating a holistic approach not just to what we eat, but also how we use energy and resources daily,” says Catherine Clark, Owner and Founder of The Harvest Table. She believes that individuals and businesses should make more sustainable choices to decrease their footprint so that the world can be around for generations to come.
“We have been creating pure and wholesome products to positively contribute to the lives of our consumers since 2018, but our commitment goes beyond that. We want to encourage companies and individuals alike to foster a sustainable mindset that will limit the impact on the earth, and ultimately improve our health,” says Catherine. She adds that adopting earth-conscious processes will lead to waste and energy reduction, and essentially change the environment and our lives.
Catherine offers three ways companies can become more earth-conscious:
1. Generate your own energy: Much of the world runs on fossil fuels, but these resources are not renewable, which means we need to find alternatives so that we can reduce our energy consumption. South Africa is fortunate to have 2500 hours of sunshine per year, which companies can use to power their buildings. The benefits of using solar power outweigh the initial costs of installation and allow you to save money over time. This use of free, clean and renewable energy decreases reliance on fossil fuels and contributes to lower emissions that affect the environment.
2. Switch to cloud computing: Due to technological advancements, companies rarely need high-cost physical servers that use up large amounts of energy which puts pressure on natural resources. Cloud computing, when done correctly, helps reduce energy consumption while allowing efficient storing and sharing of data. Although more companies are going paperless, according to global challenges organisation, The World Counts, paper accounts for 25% of landfill and 33% of municipal waste. This is an alarmingly high percentage, but cloud computing can reduce waste derived from paper by encouraging employees to rely on cloud-based technologies and essentially, decrease environmental
3. Use earth-conscious packaging: As much as we have heard “reduce, reuse, recycle,” over the years, global waste production continues to increase. According to Conserve Energy Future, plastic is one of the leading waste producers. It carries toxins that are dangerous to human life, wild and marine life. Plastic fragments find their way to our land and oceans and are then consumed by animals which eventually reaches our plates. The chemicals found in these plastic fragments not only cause infections in animals, but they also disrupt the normal functioning of our hormones. Solutions as simple as using glass and reusable shopping bags can make a difference. Also, you can buy products that are packaged in reusable containers so that you can repurpose them around your home or office. Even better, if you sell products, consider looking at how you can start implementing earth-conscious packaging.
“Earth-conscious living can seem daunting, but with little innovation and sustainable leadership, businesses can foster a responsible culture within their organisations. The reality is that resources are rapidly depleting so we have to be more conscious of our impact on the earth that we ultimately cannot live without,” Catherine concludes.