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.
by Lindsay Meiman 2016 marked the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous title-holder of 2015, and 2014 before that. Communities around the world are already confronting climate impacts—from one in a thousand year floods and devastating droughts, to food … more
by Diane Husic Recently, I took refuge from work to visit the former site of Bethlehem Steel. This may seem like a strange place for a retreat, but when your work involves ecological restoration of contaminated sites and adaptation to … more
by Molly Majewicz This year on Friday, April 22nd, the day was overcast and humid, but the predicted chance of rain didn’t deter many passionate Muhlenberg students and community members from creating a sustainability-centered fair, of sorts. On-campus groups like … more
Following are the principal sources we used to prepare these pages, with updated information added as it becomes available. Reports, Fact Sheets, & Scientific Studies Athletic Playing Fields and Artificial Turf: Considerations for Municipalities and Institutions [PDF]. Toxics Use Reduction Institute … 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 will wind up in landfills when the fields need to be refurbished (10–12 years); … 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