ENN Focuses on Sustainable Economy in March

This month at ENN we've been focusing on the concept of sustainble economy. What is it, and how do we maintain it?

This month at ENN we've been focusing on the concept of sustainble economy. What is it, and how do we maintain it? We've been focusing on a number of people and businesses who are doing their part to contribute to a sustainable economy.

But just what do we mean when we say "sustainable economy?" There are a number of ways to look at the concept, but from ENN's environmental perspective, it refers to practices that help to protect the Earth's environment -- afterall, nothing is sustainable if we don't have a liveable world. But at a less apocalyptic level, sustainability refers to quality of life as well.

Humans are consumers, and economic activity is a reality of the human condition; some theorists would even say that human trade is organic (in the social science sense of organic); that is, economic activity is part of the human essence.

You don't have to subscribe to that theory to acknowledge the reality that humankind is developing much of the planet. In so doing, we're putting a "footprint" on the world. But since we rely on natural resources for our survival, it's not in our self-interest to destroy those resources. Nor is our quality of life enhanced by the destruction of the natural world.

There are many idea about what "sustainable economy" means. I think the similarities among the ideas outnumber the differences. A simple Google search -- or surfing ENN -- will give you a number of ideas of what sustainable economy is all about. Here are just a few places where you can read different ideas about it:

Sustainable Communities Network
Earth Policy Institute
People in Action

Of course, much of this is not news to ENN's environment-savvy readership. Just by being here, you're showing your commitment to the environment. One of the goals of ENN is to provide you with ideas and ways that you can contribute to a better environment -- concrete (so to speak) action where you can be a participant, rather than just a spectator, in the bettering of the planet. That's why most of you are here.

So we focused this month on showcasing examples of those who are taking positive action to improve our environment.

We gave you several examples of investment in wind power, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, including:

Wind Farm Wins OK to Begin Construction
Xcel to Buy Wind Power from Lamar Investors

We told you about larger companies' attempts to be more green:

PNC Bank Takes Green Approach
Fifty Companies Win EPA Nods for Energy Efficiency, Greenhouse Gas Reductions
DuPont Agrees to Reduce C8 Emissions

And in one case, we asked you if you thought Starbucks was doing enough:

Despite Many Social-Responsibility Programs, Disagreement over Starbucks

ENN publisher Jerry Kay's EarthNews Radio program also brought you examples of those contributing to a sustainable economy. He introduced you to the backyard habitat program at the National Wildlife Federation, where individual families can help reduce the impact of suburban development:

Listen to EarthNews Radio Here: Backyard Habitats

He also reported on an innovative car-sharing program that is growing in San Francisco:

Listen to EarthNews Radio Here: Car Sharing

We'll continue our focus on sustainable economy throughout this month, so be sure to check back often with ENN for the latest news, information, and sustainable economy reporting.