Is Your Love for Coconut Hurting the Environment?

Dave Pflieger Coconuts Environment

The process of food cultivation and delivery altogether ranks as one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. Today, the craze over coconuts and all that they offer (milk, oils, water, meat) puts a great burden on the environment. From the cultivation, per se, to the transportation and commodification of coconuts a series of hazardous processes challenges the resilience of the planet.

As coconut is increasingly desired, farmers are forced to partake in monocultural farming, or restricting plots of land to growing one solitary crop. As part of this exploit, they use unnatural fertilizers to expedite growth and cut the number of diverse plant species that are indigenous to the biosphere in order to make room for the desired species. This reduces the flourishing diversity of an area, and reduces it to a perfunctory, monotonous farm.

Coconuts are well liked for their versatility. The oils are featured in cosmetics, the water is a favored source of hydration and replenishment, the meat is a tasty snack, and the milk is a culinary favorite and supports alternative diets for which animal products are not eaten. That being said, the wide use is responsible for its impact on the environment. The fruit often comes from foreign regions—tropical American and Asian areas—and its import requires a great deal of transportation. The Food and Agriculture Organization reported that Indonesia and the Philippines are leading producers of coconut (followed by India, Sri Lanka, and Brazil) whereas China, Malaysia, and the United States are among the leading importers.

One thing One Green Planet suggests is buying organic and fair trade certified products. Both ensure that the land was not exposed to unnatural chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The Fair Trade organization sees to it that fruits are grown safely, and that farmers are properly compensated for their labor. It’s a small step, but it’s one that needs to be taken in an age where so much risks environmental harm.

Dave Pflieger: Companies With the Best Practices in Environmental Sustainability

Due to the rising concern large businesses can have on the environment as a whole, companies all across the globe have started implementing various ways to reduce their carbon footprint and promote healthy habits when it comes to sustainability. Recycling programs, decreasing waste, and other techniques have been introduced to many companies in order to raise awareness about protecting the environment. But, these simple techniques are not the only ways for companies to reduce their carbon emissions. Many organizations are examining every detail that goes into the creation of their product and are applying green supply chain management practices across the entire board.

According to an article by University Alliance, “Sustainable business initiatives can relate to social, corporate and/or environmental sustainability. Collectively, they involve examining business processes and practices in term sof people, planet and profit, and seeking out ways to create a positive impact in each of these areas. While improving working conditions and protecting the environment are certainly admirable goals, they have also proven to be good business strategies.” The article further investigates who the most highly success companies are that show strength in leading big businesses towards promoting environmental sustainability.

The first company on this list is eBay, which focuses the environment directly into its business plan. This online-based company makes it easy for its customers to reuse and exchange goods rather than throwing them away, thus elongating certain products’ lifespan so they do not go to waste.

The second company that has introduced a plethora of ways to reduce their carbon footprint is Starbucks. Starbucks has purchased Fair Trade Certified and certified organic coffee, focused on creating “green” stores across the globe, and have been able to reduce the environmental impact and operating costs of its business practices. Their “go green” initiative includes minimizing their use of air-conditioning and buying cabinetry that is made with 90 percent post-industrial items.

Last on the list is, as you may have guessed, Google, who also leads the corporate world into a greener future. Google has increasingly shown a dedication to existing coherently with the environment rather than against it. By powering it’s buildings with renewable energy sources and hosting farmer’s markets and sustainable-cooking classes, Google is well on it’s way to becoming perhaps the most innovative of all these companies when it comes to preserving the environment.
For more information on how eBay, Starbucks, and Google are incorporating environmental sustainability techniques into their companies, read this article.