Lawrence Bloom, Secretary General of the Be Earth Foundation spoke at a conference hosted by the sustainability department here at the college a few weeks ago pertaining to “Water and Economic Sustainability: How do we affect the cause rather than cause the effect”. After peaking his resume, I was very interested in visiting this event.
Be Earth Foundation works side by side with the United Nations to develop and set sustainability goals for countries and business that are leaning toward a greener approach in their everyday agenda. After the United Nations set the goals for their partners it is the job of Be Earth Foundation to advise the country or business on how to mitigate the problems and meet the goals. Bloom started with an idea and ran with it. During his time working around hotels, he proposed the idea to give guest the option to have their towels washed daily or if they would like to hang them up and re use them. Many rejected his sustainable approach until InterContinental Hotels heard the idea and they bought into it. Shortly after they put him on the executive committee for the hotel service. This one option saved the hotels thousands of pounds of detergent each year along with saving cubic miles of water in the process.
Immediately after the company bought into his idea, he next started to make a manual for environmental choices and practices to be followed out by the hotel. His manual made its way across many hotel companies and eventually on the lap of some very important people who then demanded the manual be followed out by every 5-star hotel in the area. This guide was the start of many new innovations for a more sustainable way of life for not only hotels but many businesses and people in general.
He began his next portion of his speech by stating “When given the opportunity, most people will do what they think is right”. For example, in his own idea of giving the guest of a particular hotel an opportunity to have their towels washed daily or hung up to be reused, he found that most guest preferred to re-use the towels for the better of the environment and personal choice. Lawrence’s simple statement played heavy on my mind for the remainder of the conference as he emphasized that the education of environmental problems is crucial for young adults especially as we will be the ones to have new ideas and solutions for mitigation of these increasing results. As of now, many leaders and adults that we as young people look up to are bought out by lobbyist and told to promote things such as fossil fuel use for money in their pockets. If we come forward to push and promote the education of fossil fuel use, look at our water footprint, and promote to reduce our carbon footprint as well, then our country will be able to obtain sustainable goals at a much faster pace so that the world will be just as intriguing to the next population of individuals before it is too late.
Special thanks to CofC Department of Sustainability.