Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To the Rescue

Over the past few days, I've quivered with financial fear in anticipating lawmakers' proposal for our rescue plan. Recent attention has been given to how we can save our economy, our environment...With so many national issues needing to be addressed, the collective decisions to create rescue plans seems daunting. Congressional leaders have not yet made a decision that best suits us as a country, but I've been thinking about what I can do to sustain myself and survive as a small business. As it turns out, I've found that in trying to save my business, I can also help the environment.

Securing the longevity and profitability of a small business is like riding a long wave. Sometimes we're in over our heads and getting pummeled...like my first attempt at surfing. Caught in a set of strong, enormous waves, I kept trying to make it to the surface and oxygen. Whether it's an economic crisis or environmental concern, we are often aware of the severity of a problem when we're already in the deep end. If only money did grow on trees...It's hard to make it appear in a credit crunch, but we can focus on the ways in which we can save.

Personally, I keep my windows open. Maybe not all days, but even just a little in the winter because I love sleeping under heaps of covers. If you use central air, adjust your thermostat (up or down depending). Even one degree per house will make a collective difference.

Unplug phone and other chargers. I've had to make a conscious effort on this one. I easily take my juiced up phone, but I try to remember to pull it out from it's roots.

Turn your lights off when you leave the room and switch to CFL lightbulbs. This has not been an immediate change around my home/office. They save energy and aren't as hot, but I've been replacing the lights that burn out with CFL bulbs to save money and waste.

Wash your clothes in cold water. Unless they were completely soiled, they’ll come out perfectly clean. I think I've grown out of sticky situations anyway...

Buy local produce when possible. It cuts down on energy expended in transportation, supports the people working around you, and tastes better.

Carry reusable bags whether you're going shopping, to the office, gym... anywhere you need to carry stuff.
Made with biodegradable cotton, this tote is a chic, eco-friendly substitute!

Many changes in market activity are generated by fluctuations in pessimism and optimism. The future is a forecast. When we feel that the sustainabilty of our business depends upon decisions beyond our control, we have to look at ourselves and others on board in our boat. We can connect and assist each other in our businesses, find something relevant or affordable to benefit consumers, cut back on expenses where possible...breathe and try to stay positive. Approach the big picture in small steps...or on a bike.