Sustainability & Business
Businesses have a profound effect on sustainability. Businesses are permitted to externalize many of the costs associated with producing, using, and disposing of their products, which means that the cost and damage is shared by everyone.
For example: Coal sells as a commodity at about $50/ton. Experts estimate that the extraction and burning of coal creates additional costs to society of over $200/ton.Coal and energy companies profit from the low price, while everyone else bears the costs, primarily in the form of environmental degradation, global warming, and impaired health.
(Other examples include difficult-to-recycle electronic devices and single-use containers & packaging.)
Waste threatens to overwhelm natural ecosystems and the health of people and other life, primarily because our society produces so much waste in the form of short-lived or single-use materials and products that do not lend themselves to re-use or even recycling. And the problem of too much ‘stuff’ is multiplied by the volume of excess packaging.
If we recycle 100% of the recyclable materials and compost as much as possible, that will help — but will not solve the waste problem. Back in the early days of the environmental movement, someone coined the phrase ‘Reduce – Reuse – Recycle’ — and intentionally put recycling in 3rd place.
Following are the principal sources we used to prepare these pages. Reports, Fact Sheets, & Scientific Studies David R. Brown. Artificial Turf. Environment & Human Health (2007). Phyllis Swebilius. More studies needed on artificial turf fields, EPA says. New Haven … more
In addition to the health & safety concerns for athletes, synthetic turf raises environmental concerns: Both the grass and the infill are made from toxic products and are not biodegradable; and The infill material releases harmful gases and particles that are … more
Synthetic turf does not cause infections, but turf burns and other minor abrasions open the door for infectious bacteria. Sports Turf NorthWest reports that synthetic turf can become contaminated with bacteria and may need to be disinfected regularly. One drug-resistant … more
Another surprise for us was that we learned that most professional athletes prefer to play on natural grass rather than artificial turf. A survey of NFL professional football players found that: 84% of players believe that injuries are less likely … more
The ‘grass’s synthetic turf (also known as artificial turf) is plastic, usually high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon. The tufts of grass are attached to a blanket or membrane and supported by the infill material. Some turf systems use little coils of … more
Proper maintenance is essential for playability and also prolongs the usable life of the field. Regular brushing is essential for a good playing surface. Without proper maintenance, the ball can roll unevenly, gain or lose speed, or bounce unpredictably. Infill … more
Most trains reach their destinations safely, of course. Derailments are not common, but— but when a train carrying explosive crude or natural gas does derail and catch fire, the results can be disastrous, as the photos below show. December 2013 … more
Climate and Sustainability Commitment (As adopted by the Bethlehem Area School District, 28 April 2014) “Changes to Pennsylvania’s climate are happening now. While there is uncertainty as to the extent and timing of these impacts, it is undeniable that action … more