I like questions like this because there are so many potential answers. I believe that right now there are more people, businesses, governments and organizations around the world concerned with reducing their environmental impact that at any other time in history. One of the most promising developments is that it seems to have filtered down to ordinary businesses that going green is not only socially responsible, but also good for the bottom line. It’s hard to find a major company these days that has not instituted a program to recycle paper in its offices, to encourage recycling and waste reduction among its employees and customers, and to cut down on inefficiency and increase energy savings. All of these small steps add up and make a big difference eventually. On a macro level we have international organizations like the International Panel on Climate Change trying to do something about global warming, or countries coming together (not always successfully, as seen in December 2009 in Copenhagen) to reach agreements on CO2 emissions targets. Ordinary people are getting into the act too. Just Google “carbon footprint calculator” and you’ll see the number of websites that are offering tools to calculate your individual or your business’s impact on the environment, and the same site will usually offer tips on how to reduce that footprint–from things as simple as turning off lights when you leave the room to large-scale projects like moving into an LEED-certified “zero energy” house or recycling your own graywater. I think there are a lot of things we’ve done lately to reduce our environmental impact, and I believe we’ll continue to do so increasingly in the future.
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