Successful Business/Environmentally Sound Practices… NOT Mutually Exclusive.

By Christie Walker
Being an avid environmentalist, I could launch into a diatribe of the looming dangers of global warming, the importance of cutting our dependence on oil and the urgency of saving our natural environment from over-development, but then most of you would probably stop reading right here. So instead, I’m going to do what I do best, I’m going to tell you a funny story.

This Christmas I bought my husband Robbie a .22 rifle, a Ruger 10/20 Carbine with a rotary magazine, to be exact. Robbie had always wanted a gun and since I’d grown up shooting a .22, it seemed like the logical choice. So after jumping through California gun control hoops and giving everything but blood, we were finally able to pick up the rifle.

Several weeks later, we started getting phone calls from the NRA asking us to join. I told them to send me the information and received a lovely packet, including a couple of NRA decals for my car. Coincidentally, several days later, I received my renewal notice for the Sierra Club. This equally lovely packet included a Sierra Club decal for my car. Hmmmm. This gave me an idea. I’m going to have my husband, the aforementioned Robbie and graphic artist extraordinaire, craft me a new bumper sticker for my truck. It will have the Sierra Club logo on one end and the NRA logo on the other. It will say, “Environmentalist with a rifle. Please step away from the giant redwood tree!” I wonder who will slash my tires first, the environmentalists or the gun enthusiasts.

As the president of my local chapter of the Sierra Club, some people might think that I’d be against firearms, but I’m not. I’ve actually read our Constitution and think it’s a pretty fine document including the second amendment about our right to keep and bear arms. So what’s the point of this amusing tale?

I’m using myself to demonstrate that not everything needs to be black or white, either/or. You can own a gun or a four-wheel drive vehicle and still care about the environment. You can run a successful business and still incorporate environmentally sound practices that not only keep pollutants out of the waste stream but have been shown to actually save you money. Caring about the environment and making money are not mutually exclusive. As a matter of fact, in many instances, these two endeavors can go hand-in-hand.

In this issue of LabTalk we’ve put together a two part article on Greening Your Lab. In Part I, featured in this issue, we talk to your peers to find out what they are doing to go green and save green. In Part II, in the July/August issue, we’ll talk to manufacturers to find out what they are doing both in their business and to help your business, by providing eco-friendly products.

While you enjoy this issue, I think I’ll go out and shoot a few pesky beer cans. Of course I’ll be picking up all my shells and “wounded” cans, leaving the area exactly as I found it!


Labtalk June 2020