I’m not sure how many of you actually watched the Oscars Sunday night, but I was catching the highlights as they came down through Twitter. One of those highlights was Leonardo DiCaprio taking time out of his very first Oscar acceptance speech (finally!) to make mention of climate change. Which got me to thinking. He’s an A-list actor AND a dogged supporter of stopping climate change. Yep, I said stopping climate change. Not slowing it down to a dull roar. Full stop. As in all the bad stuff that’s starting to happen before it gets really bad.
I did some reading up on what happened during filming of “The Revenant” because when one lives in LA, one does her movie homework. I found out some interesting stuff. What stood out to me was that Leonardo, along with the rest of the cast and crew, had to go to some pretty impressive extremes to capture cold climate footage, including the southernmost tip of Argentina. He said that there were 30-40 of the most physically demanding sequences he’d shot in his career due to where they had to go. They had to make location changes due to climate change. It reads like it was very challenging for all concerned, and I’ve even heard people talking about how production was nearly permanently scuttled because of it. I have to wonder if they would have had better luck 20 years ago when they could have shot their scenes in southern Alaska or lower-mid Canada instead. 20 years ago, I was just getting my sea legs with how to navigate my life. Leonardo was getting ready to shoot “Titanic”. Now we’re both part of the first generation that will either have to be seriously engaged in undoing the environmental fallout courtesy of previous generations… or live in a very different world. Your kids, your grandkids… they will have to bear the brunt of all of our choices if we don’t act. That’s not okay. That shouldn’t be okay for any of us, and we shouldn’t just accept it as fate.
So what to do about it you ask?
Start where you work.
I’ve read studies that the average American spends half or more of his/her waking hours working. So take a look around where you work.
Start asking yourself these questions:
- What kind of things are you tossing in your waste or recycling bin? Make a list.
- Do you know where they go? If not, find out.
- Do you know what happens to them where they’re headed? Ask your recycler/waste hauler. They usually pick up the phone when called.
- If you work at a plant, where is all of the production waste going? You would be floored at how much waste flows out of plants into landfills because people aren’t paying attention, aren’t asking questions, or feel overwhelmed about how to tackle setting up an Environmental Management Program. Nobody has time to add to our heavy workloads, so we put it off. Am I right?
- If it’s not being provided, ask your supervisor for info on what’s happening around your company’s waste initiative. If they don’t have one, see if you can spearhead it.
- Finally, and most importantly, call me or someone like me. You’re a professional at whatever you do, right? We are too, and we want to help. Reach out to the environmental pros, and let us guide you. We can complete a total assessment of your entire business starting with your plants, and once we get those dialed in we can even work with you backward through your supply chain.
Many states are starting to implement laws around waste management. Companies like Link International Inc. can help you navigate, and what’s more, certify what you’re doing to lessen your company’s impact on the environment. Link can do that in any state in the Union. They also do a fantastic job with reporting, systems implementation, and they’re dialed in to provide the service you’ll need to make a difference.
I’ll leave you with a couple of thoughts.
One of my friends just told me that what one can do in two minutes shouldn’t be delayed at all. Yes, starting up an Environmental Management program at work is bigger than that. But what if we all devoted a short amount of time each day or week to it? If we organized ourselves and our time, I’m betting we could collectively turn all of this around really fast. I think Leo would be excited. Maybe even more than finally getting that Oscar statue Sunday night.
For more information on how you can make an environmental impact at work and home, please follow this blog. We will be releasing a new segment each month.