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December Newsletter: Natural Capitalism

Tis’ The Season

We don’t want to get too sappy here, but we are so grateful for the opportunities we have had this year. In 2019 we worked with some great new customers, took on some new projects, and most importantly grew the reuse of materials in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. We branched out in some of our work this year partnering with businesses in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. Impacting the Greater Northwest is important to us, but our roots were still strong here in the Treasure Valley. We have planted seeds in 2019 that we can’t wait to see bare fruit come 2020. Happy Holidays, I hope the tree puns didn’t soil the message for you.

Natural Capitalism

Another interesting topic in the sphere of sustainability is Natural Capitalism. This concept was first proposed in a book written by Paul Hawken, Amory B Lovins, and L Hunter Lovins. The main focus of the book is to point out that our system of capitalism fails to assign the proper value to the core of capitalism, natural resources and human capital. In order for capitalism to be truly sustainable, it needs to evole to properly account for these principles. The four main strategies outlined in the text to help us get there and to lead to “the next industrial revolution” are:

  1. The conservation of resources through more effective manufacturing processes.
  2. The reuse of materials as found in natural systems.
  3. Change in values from quantity to quality.
  4. Investing in natural capital, or restoring and sustaining natural resources.

Since the book has been written (1999) I have seen these principles take more of a hold in many business and organizations. Organizations Like POW , Idaho Conservation League, and Zero Waste Boise Institute are examples of organizations that have started to help us sustain our environment. We, among with other great organizations across the country have developed a whole new industry of reuse, re-purposing, and recycling. The largest pitfall I still see very evident today is our obsession with quantity and growth. I’ll admit that always buying for quality is really hard, especially as a consumer myself. I have been working to be more conscience to “buy it once, and buy it right” , but I too sometimes fall short. By changing our current accounting principles of our pure capitalism system this books states that we can acknowledge the interdependence of production and natural capital. If you look around you this rings true, everything around us is made from a natural resource. If my short introduction sparked any interest in you, you can check out this book at the local library, or any library in your area.

Product Highlight – Textile Pad

You’ve heard of bales of hay, but have you heard of bales of textile pads? Probably not. That’s fine, that’s why we are here. This weeks product highlight is a great commercial product to use for alternative packaging, protection, or other creative reuses. This item comes in bales that contain 125 pads. Each pad ranges in size from 38 – 75 inches in width and 72 -84 inches in length. the fibrous material is gray in color and runs around 1/4 inch thick. This material is easy to cut, shape, and utilize in many fashions. Check out the pictures above where some folks used this textile pad to make archery targets, now that is some great creative reuse.

If you want a sample or have other questions let me know, I’d be happy to help.

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