Making Gift Giving Count

Blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Company
Dec 15, 2010 10:04 AM ET

Taiga Company blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Compa…

Which has more impact?  What you do?  Or, what you buy?   At the PEW Center for Climate Changer's Energy Efficiency Conference held in Chicago last April, one of the plenary session speakers stated a remarkable statistic.  Only 8% of what you DO is sustainable -- the other 92% is in the supply chain -- in other words, what you BUY. So in essence, your eco actions add up but the products you purchase. 

Noted in our sustainability consulting, sustainability needs educated consumers.  Everything you buy affects the Earth, but some choices have a lesser impact. Educating yourself about the products you buy can empower you to make a difference in protecting the planet. It's called "green purchasing," and it's easy to do. As a green living consultant, I've found the problem is, most people are simply not aware of the problems associated with purchasing less sustainable products, let alone the solutions.   Personal sustainability is about addressing the environmental concerns of carbon, water, and energy on a smaller scale: your life.   How can we as consumers integrate these sustainable business strategies into the fabric of our daily lives?   •    Zero waste:  Tips to Living a Zero Waste Lifestyle •    Water: Reduce Your Water Footprint •    Energy:  A Personal 20-20-20 Plan •    Educated Consumer •    E-Waste: Responsible Disposal Options   Access to information has put the consumer in the driver’s seat and for those living a sustainable lifestyle, there's power in leveraging purchases to support sustainable businesses.  Following are 8 tips to enhance eco awareness for the conscious shopper.     •    A comprehensive tool that provides reliable sources of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of products is the GoodGuide. •    Research before you buy.  For larger more infrequent items, set aside time to research your options.  Evaluate products on the full lifecycle.  How much energy was used in producing the product?   What is the energy consumption of your intended use?  How it will be discarded later? Compare products with eco awareness in mind. •    Buy local and buy in bulk.  Supporting local businesses eliminates the need for products to be transported far distances. •    Buy organic.  Purchasing merchandise certified with organic labeling is another way to bring eco awareness to your lifestyle.   Buying organic means less pesticides in our ground water and better health for your family.   Click here to continue reading.  

Home to one third of the earth's trees, the Taiga is the largest land-based biosphere and encircles the globe. Its immense oxygen production literally changes the atmosphere and refreshes the planet. It is this continuous renewal that has shaped Taiga Company's vision to drive similar change in the business world. Taiga Company seeks to be the "oxygen for your business".