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The ‘Problem’ of Masculinity: Do We Need Offset Credits?

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In the last few years, it has become evident that masculinity and the subject around this is becoming increasingly popular.

In particular, masculinity is seen as a problem, as demonstrated by increasing references on social media to “toxic masculinity” and “masculinity so fragile,” as well as a long list of magazine articles about what it means to be a man in contemporary society.

There is also a backlash to these criticisms from people who can loosely be described as Men’s Rights Activists who believe men are under attack from those who want to erase masculinity. These activists seek to resist this perceived erasure by organising campaigns such as the boycott against Star Wars: The Force Awakens over the film’s casting that decentralised traditional masculine roles.

These debates about masculinity are often very bitter, resulting in both sides becoming increasingly entrenched in their position. One way around this obstacle to progress is to find another vocabulary for discussing masculinity and to employ a different frame that has a greater level of consensus as to its importance.

Masculinity as a Sustainability Issue
One alternative way of discussing masculinity is to consider it as a sustainability issue. For men, masculinity is a sustainability issue because it has negative impacts on poor health and education outcomes and a number of other measures of wellbeing such as having friends.

For women, masculinity is a sustainability issue because they are still largely oppressed by patriarchy.

For society, masculinity is a sustainability issue because it results in violence, whether between individuals or nations in the form of war.

For the environment, masculinity is a sustainability issue because its results in a dominator mentality that exploits natural resources, as well as connecting lifestyle choices such as eating less meat with being unmanly.

Masculinity Offset Credits
One method that seeks to make the world think more seriously about climate change as a sustainability issue is to frame it within the language of the market. The creation of carbon credits allow for those with a large carbon footprint to offset their impact upon the world by the purchase of credits that assign market value to that footprint and also finance initiatives that neutralise its existence.

As a new proposal, Masculinity Offset Credits would follow the same logic as carbon credits. Such credits could be purchased by businesses, generating revenue which is then invested in initiatives that mitigate the impact of masculinity.

Why Should Business Pay?
Business benefits from the impact of masculinity in various ways. In particular, many of the values that are rewarded in the workplace such as competitiveness and power are traditionally masculine values and often rapidly tip over from being useful into being unsustainable.

Business also has a debt to pay to women by favouring men and masculinity. Despite some famed outliers, most women still experience various levels of discrimination in the workplace, which is also unsustainable.

And business benefits from the unsustainable use of natural resources, which can be traced back to the traditionally masculine value of domination over the environment.

It is only fair for business to acknowledge that it profits from masculinity and to takes steps to make masculinity more sustainable. Masculinity Offset Credits would therefore be seen as a core component of Corporate Social Responsibility efforts.

Of course, it is not just business that benefits from unsustainable masculinity. The same logic can be applied from the individual right through to governments, and Masculinity Offset Credits should be priced in a way that would make them accessible to all who find this moral call to action compelling.

The Masculinity Offset Credit Business Model
The first step to creating a business model around Masculinity Offset Credits would be to establish an indicative value of the impact of masculinity upon the world. This value would inevitably be highly contestable, but it would function at the very least as a way of garnering attention, as it could potentially end up being measured in trillions of dollars.

Masculinity Offset Credits would be sold and the revenue used to establish a social impact fund that would invest in initiatives that mitigate the impact of masculinity. A justifiable percentage of the credit price would be allocated for operational and development costs of the Masculinity Offset Credits scheme.

The resulting social impact fund could also be opened to investment beyond the value of the credits. For example, a credit purchase of $100 is a sunk cost and offers no return to the purchaser, but it also offers the option to invest $1000 in the fund with the possibility of a return. This element of the scheme would allow the fund to scale and also to appeal to traditional ROI motivations beyond the purchase of straight credits.

In short, Masculinity Offset Credits could transform the discussion around the “problem” of masculinity, as well as providing a much-needed source of financing for those taking steps to create a more sustainable future.

Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Energy

5 Easy Things You Can Do to Make Your Home More Sustainable

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Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By Diyana Dimitrova

Increasing your home’s energy efficiency is one of the smartest moves you can make as a homeowner. It will lower your bills, increase the resale value of your property, and help minimize our planet’s fast-approaching climate crisis. While major home retrofits can seem daunting, there are plenty of quick and cost-effective ways to start reducing your carbon footprint today. Here are five easy projects to make your home more sustainable.

1. Weather stripping

If you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, an energy audit is a highly recommended first step. This will reveal where your home is lacking in regards to sustainability suggests the best plan of attack.

Some form of weather stripping is nearly always advised because it is so easy and inexpensive yet can yield such transformative results. The audit will provide information about air leaks which you can couple with your own knowledge of your home’s ventilation needs to develop a strategic plan.

Make sure you choose the appropriate type of weather stripping for each location in your home. Areas that receive a lot of wear and tear, like popular doorways, are best served by slightly more expensive vinyl or metal options. Immobile cracks or infrequently opened windows can be treated with inexpensive foams or caulking. Depending on the age and quality of your home, the resulting energy savings can be as much as 20 percent.

2. Programmable thermostats

Programmable thermostats

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Olivier Le Moal

Programmable thermostats have tremendous potential to save money and minimize unnecessary energy usage. About 45 percent of a home’s energy is earmarked for heating and cooling needs with a large fraction of that wasted on unoccupied spaces. Programmable thermostats can automatically lower the heat overnight or shut off the air conditioning when you go to work.

Every degree Fahrenheit you lower the thermostat equates to 1 percent less energy use, which amounts to considerable savings over the course of a year. When used correctly, programmable thermostats reduce heating and cooling bills by 10 to 30 percent. Of course, the same result can be achieved by manually adjusting your thermostats to coincide with your activities, just make sure you remember to do it!

3. Low-flow water hardware

With the current focus on carbon emissions and climate change, we typically equate environmental stability to lower energy use, but fresh water shortage is an equal threat. Installing low-flow hardware for toilets and showers, particularly in drought prone areas, is an inexpensive and easy way to cut water consumption by 50 percent and save as much as $145 per year.

Older toilets use up to 6 gallons of water per flush, the equivalent of an astounding 20.1 gallons per person each day. This makes them the biggest consumer of indoor water. New low-flow toilets are standardized at 1.6 gallons per flush and can save more than 20,000 gallons a year in a 4-member household.

Similarly, low-flow shower heads can decrease water consumption by 40 percent or more while also lowering water heating bills and reducing CO2 emissions. Unlike early versions, new low-flow models are equipped with excellent pressure technology so your shower will be no less satisfying.

4. Energy efficient light bulbs

An average household dedicates about 5 percent of its energy use to lighting, but this value is dropping thanks to new lighting technology. Incandescent bulbs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. These inefficient light sources give off 90 percent of their energy as heat which is not only impractical from a lighting standpoint, but also raises energy bills even further during hot weather.

New LED and compact fluorescent options are far more efficient and longer lasting. Though the upfront costs are higher, the long term environmental and financial benefits are well worth it. Energy efficient light bulbs use as much as 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent and last 3 to 25 times longer producing savings of about $6 per year per bulb.

5. Installing solar panels

Adding solar panels may not be the easiest, or least expensive, sustainability upgrade for your home, but it will certainly have the greatest impact on both your energy bills and your environmental footprint. Installing solar panels can run about $15,000 – $20,000 upfront, though a number of government incentives are bringing these numbers down. Alternatively, panels can also be leased for a much lower initial investment.

Once operational, a solar system saves about $600 per year over the course of its 25 to 30-year lifespan, and this figure will grow as energy prices rise. Solar installations require little to no maintenance and increase the value of your home.

From an environmental standpoint, the average five-kilowatt residential system can reduce household CO2 emissions by 15,000 pounds every year. Using your solar system to power an electric vehicle is the ultimate sustainable solution serving to reduce total CO2 emissions by as much as 70%!

These days, being environmentally responsible is the hallmark of a good global citizen and it need not require major sacrifices in regards to your lifestyle or your wallet. In fact, increasing your home’s sustainability is apt to make your residence more livable and save you money in the long run. The five projects listed here are just a few of the easy ways to reduce both your environmental footprint and your energy bills. So, give one or more of them a try; with a small budget and a little know-how, there is no reason you can’t start today.

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