This is something that environmentalists and organizations trying to develop sustainable projects may find hard to admit, but the reality is that innovative technologies are never easy to acquire and when it comes to implement environmentally friendly devices, like solar panels, for example, it is required a huge investment of money and work.
I bring this into attention, because when we praise the countries that develop sustainable projects, and criticize the ones that doesn’t seem to be interested on them, we rarely notice that the former trend to be First World Countries, while the latter are poor ones, or at least belong to what has been categorized as “emerging markets”.
The truth is that for many countries in South Africa, India or Central and South America, the adoption of sustainable energies and production methods may imply great sacrifices. How can we demand from the head of a family, who barely affords to pay for a modest room and a daily meal for his or her offspring, to avoid using coal for heating and cooking or to install solar panels at home? Or how can a small farmer stop using pesticides for the fields or feeding the animals with hormones to accelerate their growth, if that’s what is required to increase production and remain competitive?
We may say that those people are not considering things in the long term, because if they write down some numbers, will soon find out that their investments will be profitable in the future. But the problem is that when someone faces extreme poverty or at least a great uncertainty regarding the financial situation, it is hard to plan the future. One just tries to provide for daily survival, without making further plans.
Nevertheless it is reassuring to know that some countries, considered as emerging markets, are doing their best to give huge steps towards a sustainable future. Some weeks ago, there were exciting news about Costa Rica, where a new law, prohibiting the distribution and use of plastic bags is about to be approved. This comes some years after Haiti, one of the most troubled countries in South America, prohibited the use of polyethylene, due to environmental reasons.
Mexico is another country that is doing great advances in the ground of sustainable development projects (or “proyectos de desarrollo sustentable”, as they would say in Spanish). The approach of several ONG’s and enterprises is to work directly with the people of poor communities and shown them how to take what they need from nature, but without causing devastation or the extinction of species.
The first step is to make people conscious about one important fact; if they don’t take care about environment now, soon there will be no land to seed and no water to fight thirst and keep the fields fertile. Those terrible consequences shall not come in an unforeseeable future, but probably will be experienced by their children or grandchildren.
People that are used to live on what the land produces have a strong connection with her and it is not too hard to make them understand that if our environment perishes, we will no longer survive. Organizations like Huella Azul are working with communities to teach them how to make a better use of natural resources. They also partner with enterprises and industries, whose production strategies leave an important environmental footprint, showing them how important is that they contribute to repair part of the damage.
It is not like all this work has been easy for those countries, but that’s why they should become examples for every nation in the world.
It is well know that that crisis brings opportunity to those who see it from afar and that an investment on a flooding swamp pays a hundred times over if it goes right.
There is a big health crisis with the HIV epidemic all over the world; however, there is a country in Eastern Europe whose growth rates of the infection is the highest in the world, that country is the Ukraine.
Ukraine is an ex soviet socialist republic whose entire fate depended on the Kremlin and when the red government fell, Ukraine was hit the hardest.
During the Soviet Union, most Ukrainians depended entirely on the communist government who took decisions for them at all times.
People were not used, and did not know, how to make business and a profit of their own, they only knew how to serve the party.
When the U.S.S.R fell after the end of the cold war, the Ukraine was left alone with no government to lead them or feed them.
Housing was no longer free and food became very expensive for people who were not used to make money, in other words, a perfect recipe for disaster.
For nearly a decade Ukrainians starved and a lot were left homeless. Crime naturally skyrocketed and it became an apocalyptic state of anarchy.
Drugs however flowed inn from Afghanistan and Turkey in large quantities and low prices, heroin being the most popular.
As the pattern dictates a lot of homeless people began abusing heroin and shared the needles in order to safe cash a fact that made the HIV spread like fire in a corn field.
Prostitution was the order of the day, and a lot of women became pregnant because of the lack of money to buy condoms.
As a result of these unwanted pregnancies a lot of children were born with HIV who lived long enough to spread the decease someway or another.
At this moment Ukraine has the fastest growing rate of HIV, greatly because of the lack of sexual education.
As a result of this a lot of hospitals and recovery centers are being built in Kiev, bringing great opportunity for industrial real estate investors.
If this situation does not improve, then a second Chernobyl could strike that beautiful country called Ukraine.
Today is a special day; it is the 6th anniversary of a school that together with some friends we were able to successfully open. It was however no walk in the park and many times we seriously thought about leaving the project.
What do you need to open a school?
When it comes to opening your own school there are several things that you should consider:
The first things you need before opening your own school is a good and well located place where to do it. This means that you have to make sure that your school blends well with its surroundings and that your clients will feel safe when attending to your establishment. Also you have to see to it that your school is not far from everything and that it is easy for you clients to arrive.
It is very important that your establishment has the proper school furniture, such as desks, tables and chairs.
Teachers are the backbone of every school, no teachers means no school and the right kind of teacher means certain success.
A good teacher will make ten students out of one. However out of ten, only one is a good and worthy teacher.
A teacher should be passionate of what he/she does and posses a sensitivity of the highest degree in order to connect with every pupil in more elevated fashion.
In order for your business to be successful you will need clients and a great deal of them, thus you must be ready to endeavor much of your energies to this end.
To attract clients you will have to make sure that your community knows about your new enterprise and that it is ready and kicking. To do this you can begin by sending personified e-mails to your friends and relatives and subsequently to whom you consider to be a future potential client.
If possible, do try to appear in your local newspaper and, if your means allow, try to appear in the local radio station. If you are a respected person and your enterprise seems worthy, they will take your message.
For us it has been a very gratifying experience and would be glad to do it ten more times. Thus if you are interested in putting your own school, remember the basics: place, teachers, clients (P.T.C).
Organic growth, vegan meals, clothes and accessories manufactured with recycled materials; such are the kind of activities that one normally thinks about when talking about sustainable businesses.
It would be hard to imagine that industries like aeronautics, construction or fabrication of cleaning products could be operated with sustainable practices.
Those ideas imply a misunderstanding of what sustainability is. This concept involves all the productive activities that try to cause the lower environmental impact. The goal can be achieved by avoiding the use of artificial substances and bringing back handcrafts.
But the industries that need chemicals, fuels and other artificial components can also be sustainable, if they give back to the environment something of what they take. A well-known example is the practice of planting a hundred trees for every individual that is cut.
Economical activities such as tourism, which have a direct impact on the environments and communities, can also be sustainable. There are several hotels and resorts around the world that have eco-friendly facilities, where they make a rational employment of natural resources and encourage recycling. They also collaborate with the communities and help them to apply green technologies.
Therefore, if you want to start a sustainable business, you don’t have to restrain to the common eco-friendly activities. What you need to get clear is how would your business affect the environment and what can you do to reduce the negative implications of that impact.