How To Sustain Sustainability
As I’m writing this, Earth Day 2016 is just around the corner – but I must admit that this year I’m seeing things from a somewhat different perspective. I’ve come to the conclusion that merely focusing on “pure” sustainability efforts is currently the wrong approach to preserving the planet. While it has been increasingly evident for years, I am just now realizing that having so many people engaged in a struggle for daily survival is seriously detracting from the issues involved in saving the environment. So today, I have begun putting my energies into innovation and entrepreneurship that will help create new economic opportunities while curtailing the waste of our resources that is a key aspect of the sustainability challenge. This shift in direction reflects my conviction that relieving social stress will become more and more intertwined with sustainability, and, like that old song said about love and marriage, “You can’t have one without the other.”
So this year, I am changing my focus to developing enterprises that will create jobs while filling fundamental social needs and reducing or eliminating waste in the process – goals that I think will address both the long-term survival of the planet and the immediate needs of its inhabitants. I’m talking about companies like Food Star Partners, which intercepts food that would ordinarily go to waste and sells it at deep discounts to the roughly 44 million Americans who are currently food-security-challenged.
In short, “sustainability” isn’t something that can be sustained unless people’s lives are also made sustainable.