I think it’s worth noting two recent announcements out of Washington DC, that strike me as being good news for the environment.
The first is a determination by the Federal Trade Commission that you won’t void your warranty by removing the “void if removed” tags that have been showing up on cars, electronics, and other products.
Those tags are put in place to prevent you from using third-party parts. So why is this good news for the environment? As the EarthShift Global team found out recently in a study on HP’s 3D printers, extending the life of a product has a dramatic effect on reducing its lifecycle impacts—often well beyond the impacts of making the part itself. So now, you can repair your gaming product yourself (or soup it up for maximum enjoyment) with no fears that you’ll have to toss it if it breaks. If this determination keeps only a few more products in use, it’s good news for the environment.
The second positive development is the administration’s defense of Obama’s Atlantic Monument against an attack by local fishermen. With deep canyons and tall undersea mountains (called “mounts”), this monument off the New England coast is home to an incredible diversity of sea life. Atlantic puffins, sperm and beaked whales, and three species of turtles are a few of endangered and threatened species supported within its borders. Unique cold-water corals also abound in this unique environment. While I think that New England fishermen have been unfairly punished in recent years, I do believe that setting aside areas of land and ocean for the preservation and regeneration of habitat, flora, and fauna is an important tool in preserving species diversity.
So take a tip from the administration: make your stuff last as long as you can and preserve a little land—or ocean—for nature. The environment will be a better place for it.
About the Author: Lise Laurin, CEO and Founder of EarthShift Global
Lise is a pioneer in Sustainability Return on Investment (S-ROI) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). She continues to develop and leverage sustainability consulting services, LCA as well as SROI software and training programs to build organizational capacity in driving large-scale change. Her unique skill set and knowledge base has put her in demand globally by companies, organizations and governments alike.
Email Lise if you’re interested in a sustainability speaker for your next event.