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Economy

The Funds Behind A Peaceful Environmental Movement

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Starting an environmental movement might not be easy, but it’s possible. In fact, with the right funding, your movement could really grow some roots. Unfortunately, cash is a necessary evil in order to, really get the word out, structure a plan, create a website, purchase materials, and even support other worthy causes to web those meaningful common interests.

Though it might seem like every movement in the world runs solely on donations- most of them begin with loans or a sacrificial investment on behalf of the founder. During its 21-year existence, the Environment Support Center (ESC) gave out over $822,000 in loans and $2.5 million in grants to small environmental organizations.

Here is an overview on what to do with your passion and ideas.

Getting Started

It takes something to get a movement going. At first what you need are a few more people. Getting your first follower is critical- you’ll need someone that can advocate for your cause just as much as you can. Once your organization has grown to at least a handful, you’ll need a plan.

  • Define what you want. Be specific. When people are going to donate, they like to know exactly where their money is going to go especially if your organization is new. A physical goal, like building a well or rescuing a sick animal, is better to start out with too. This first goal should be reachable within a few months if not weeks. A larger, inspirational goal can be there, too but starting with small wins will help get people on board. This is the start of your momentum.

If your goal is conservation based, you may want to start local, find a lot of support, and then branch out. Heartwood and Living Rivers are good examples of a regional approach to reaching a big goal.

  • Set up a platform. You’ll need some way to get the word out and organize your followers. Social media is a great, free option. Your website, also, is even better. Depending on the size of your group and its goals this might be where you’ll want to start thinking about a base of operations, too.
  • Think about the future. Now that you have some momentum but before you move ahead a bit. Do you want your group to be a nonprofit? Do you plan on producing a product or turning a profit? Not all movements and organizations are charities. The Great Seed Bomb in Texas isn’t but they still do a great job at supporting their cause.
  • Funding. Depending on the structure you chose, your method of fundraising maybe a little different. However, you can and always will be able to ask for donations. For most environmental movements this is the core of their financial strategy–after it gets going. Meeting those initial goals may require a bit more.
  • Goal Met? Repeat. Once your first goal is reached, it’s time to celebrate. Though soon after, charge straight into the next goal. Use your accomplishments to prove your credibility and show that yes, you can make a difference. The more you accomplish, the larger your movement will grow.

Non-profit v. For Profit

Choosing how to structure your organization is a big decision, but it all comes back to one issue: fundraising. While non-profit groups take donations and have no expectations to return the money, for profit groups are expected to give something back. It can be a product or a share, but it’s supposed to be something.

Non-profits are also tax exempt (in most ways). This comes with restrictions: their efforts cannot interfere with political campaigns and how they spend their money is monitored more closely than that of a for-profit organization.

It’s never a bad idea to consult with an experienced accountant or attorney regarding your goals and what the financial benefits of each strategy would be. This is especially true if you produce a product or plan to in the future.

Funding Options Beyond Donations

Accomplishing something, whether it’s for a good cause or not, takes money in nearly every case. The larger the movement, the more it takes. The #NoDAPL protesters needed funds for food, housing, warmth, sanitation, medical services, and more. If you’re trying to get one of your goals accomplished now but lack resources, you don’t just have to wait for donations. You have options like:

Installment Loans – The fastest way to get cash when you need it. Installment loans can fund your first big win and give you plenty of momentum. With predictable payments over time, you will have a longer window of opportunity to gather donations for immediate goals.

Grants – You can search for federal, state, and local grants or those provided by local businesses and organizations. Though the grant process can be lengthy, it can also provide a significant funding boost when (or before) you need it.

Corporate Funding and Sponsors – Any movement can be funded by a business. Even if they don’t offer, you can ask. It offers them a way to support the community or even a cause that aligns with their interests. As a registered nonprofit or charity you can also provide valuable tax deductions. Think about what businesses your movement or organization might benefit if it succeeds.

Partnerships – Partnering with another organization can give you a lot of exposure and a potential rush of donations. Finding a partner doesn’t mean you have to find another group with the same goal- similar goals can inspire the same groups of people.

Final Thought

If you have a good cause and your goal is to build on it, than don’t hold back. There’s only one way to resist unethical practices and that’s by standing up, making sure your voice is heard and making the difference in the community however small your movement is.

 

Economy

New Zealand to Switch to Fully Renewable Energy by 2035

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Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Eviart / https://www.shutterstock.com/g/adrian825

New Zealand’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is already taking steps towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint. She signed a coalition deal with NZ First in October, aiming to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2035.

New Zealand is already one of the greenest countries in the world, sourcing over 80% of its energy for its 4.7 million people from renewable resources like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The majority of its electricity comes from hydro-power, which generated 60% of the country’s energy in 2016. Last winter, renewable generation peaked at 93%.

Now, Ardern is taking on the challenge of eliminating New Zealand’s remaining use of fossil fuels. One of the biggest obstacles will be filling in the gap left by hydropower sources during dry conditions. When lake levels drop, the country relies on gas and coal to provide energy. Eliminating fossil fuels will require finding an alternative source to avoid spikes in energy costs during droughts.

Business NZ’s executive director John Carnegie told Bloomberg he believes Ardern needs to balance her goals with affordability, stating, “It’s completely appropriate to have a focus on reducing carbon emissions, but there needs to be an open and transparent public conversation about the policies and how they are delivered.”

The coalition deal outlined a few steps towards achieving this, including investing more in solar, which currently only provides 0.1% of the country’s energy. Ardern’s plans also include switching the electricity grid to renewable energy, investing more funds into rail transport, and switching all government vehicles to green fuel within a decade.

Zero net emissions by 2050

Beyond powering the country’s electricity grid with 100% green energy, Ardern also wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal is very much in line with her focus on climate change throughout the course of her campaign. Environmental issues were one of her top priorities from the start, which increased her appeal with young voters and helped her become one of the youngest world leaders at only 37.

Reaching zero net emissions would require overcoming challenging issues like eliminating fossil fuels in vehicles. Ardern hasn’t outlined a plan for reaching this goal, but has suggested creating an independent commission to aid in the transition to a lower carbon economy.

She also set a goal of doubling the number of trees the country plants per year to 100 million, a goal she says is “absolutely achievable” using land that is marginal for farming animals.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson believes that phasing out fossil fuels should be a priority for the new prime minister. She says that in order to reach zero net emissions, Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar.”

A worldwide shift to renewable energy

Addressing climate change is becoming more of a priority around the world and many governments are assessing how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally-friendly energy sources. Sustainable energy is becoming an increasingly profitable industry, giving companies more of an incentive to invest.

Ardern isn’t alone in her climate concerns, as other prominent world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have made renewable energy a focus of their campaigns. She isn’t the first to set ambitious goals, either. Sweden and Norway share New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045 and 2030, respectively.

Scotland already sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to fully transition by 2020, while France announced plans in September to stop fossil fuel production by 2040. This would make it the first country to do so, and the first to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Many parts of the world still rely heavily on coal, but if these countries are successful in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable resources, it could serve as a turning point. As other world leaders see that switching to sustainable energy is possible – and profitable – it could be the start of a worldwide shift towards environmentally-friendly energy.

Sources: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-06/green-dream-risks-energy-security-as-kiwis-aim-for-zero-carbon

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-hydrocarbons/france-plans-to-end-oil-and-gas-production-by-2040-idUSKCN1BH1AQ

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Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
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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