Posts tagged ‘shipping industry’

Peak Oil…What Exactly Does that Mean?

You may not have heard of Peak Oil…because lots of media outlets that reach the majority of brain cells (tv and radio) and government agencies are not talking about it.  Peak Oil is the concept that planet Earth has a finite amount of oil, that this finite amount of oil is being used by a growing global human population, and, right about now historically, the amount of oil available for human use has reached a peak – from now on, there will be less and less oil and it will be more and more expensive.


(Big up to for the above image)

Peak Oil is not a new idea – it was conceived by Marion King Hubbert in the 1950’s while he was working for Shell Oil.  There are lots of books about it, especially written during the last eight or so years, but lots of people dont have time to read.  So…the first thing is this: do not panic.  The world as we know it will not collapse.  HOWEVER, the world as we know it will change A LOT over the next few decades.  Communities will need to rely upon themselves at an increasing rate for staple items such as food, water, shelter, electricity, security, and many other wonderful things we take for granted.  Urban centers will be populated more because the supply chain will more steadily end therein due to – you guessed – lack of fuel to ship products to outlying suburban and rural areas.

We will talk more over the coming years on this blog about Peak Oil and how you can positively affect your lifestyle and the environment.  Some issues we will discuss:

1. Alternative fuels

2. Community building

3. Co-operative gardening

4. Preparedness (food stuffs, water, seeds, energy, shelter, et cetera)

We endorse the video below for you to watch for greater details.  ecosumo strongly recommends you begin thinking about these issues – the planet isn’t asking what we want, it’s just telling us what we’ll have to deal with.  Think globally and act locally will become more than a Green movement Mantra.  (And a final tip – all those disposable water bottles we don’t like soooo much?  They need petroleum to be created.  Reduce waste = increased planetary health.)


May 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm 2 comments

Thoughts About the Shipping Industry – How to Get Some Green in There

Recently we’ve spoken about the contexts of disposable bags and disposable water bottles.  We also spoke in our recent product post, Turn Your Laundry Green, about how Dropps literally lightens the load for the shipping industry, thus lowering all sorts of Green antagonists – exhaust, fuel waste, wear/tear on automobile parts (necessitating more car parts/waste of former parts), et cetera…  So in this post we’re going to touch upon a related topic that will probably span a few posts – the shipping part of the supply chain and how it relates to being eco-conscious.  Over time we want to talk about the many individual parts of the supply chain and how to make them Green.

The purposes for businesses to Green their fleet are multiple.  Let’s talk straight first – it SAVES MONEY, and businesses have that responsibility to their share holders.  However, when Wall Street closes, the environment doesn’t…  So, okay, the piggy bank is plump, let’s focus on the planet that your business needs in order to do any business at all.  One great purpose for diversifying the fleet into fuel efficient machines AND to make the product lighter to reduce multiple forms of waste during shipping is to have LESS of an impact on the surrounding environment.  This is more than good public relations – this is an act that proves to surrounding communities (typically comprised of people who work for you) that their quality of life is important.  As well, being innovative in Green ways often leads to efficiency and reduced costs – that builds reputation and a credible business model.


Let’s take a look at Executive Order 13423, passed in 2007 (doesn’t it sound ominous?)  Truth is, it’s a governmental order for the federal government to get moving on “advancing the nation’s energy security and environmental performance” (you can read all the nitty gritty at this link at the Environmental Protection Agency site).  Essentially, EO 13423 regards a list of 11 areas that federal agencies must reduce waste in, including 1) Vehicles, 2) Energy Efficiency, and 3) Greenhouse Gases.  The order is meant to have federal agencies not only obey stricter laws about waste and pollution in the way they ship items (as well as build, maintain, purchase, et cetera), but, more importantly, to set the example and standard for the private sector.  ecosumo likes to believe that leadership by example will work, and we’re researching to find statistics on the positive effects of EO 13432.  One issue with EO 13432 is that 2015 is the year federal agencies must abide by to change their practices…that’s a bit long in the tooth for our tastes.

Let’s take a look at UPS Green Fleet biz model.  This is the 9th largest business fleet in the world with 282 aircraft and UPS operates the “largest private alternative fuel-fleet in the transportation industry, including hybrid electric and hydraulic hybrid, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, fuel cell, and electric vehicles.”  They optimize the amount of time their auto-fleet is moving by having proprietary software that limits left turns which statistically take longer than right turns.  They even had some of their packaging redesigned to “eliminate bleached paper and increase the use of post-consumer recycled content.”  Check out the link provided at the beginning of this paragraph to read much more about UPS’ initiatives to make themselves a Green company worth emulating.  We’re thinking perhaps the federal government can speed up EO 13423’s effects by consulting with UPS – how about you?

Ultimately, this issues comes down to customers shopping from companies that implement daily business procedures to reduce waste in shipping (and other areas, of course.)  We know you’re busy, but if you have some extra minutes, take a look at the websites of companies you buy products from.  See what they do to reduce waste in the shipping process – and if you don’t see anything, write to their customer service or marketing departments and ask for information about how they reduce waste.  There are more-often-than-not alternative companies that work to reduce waste who are willing to sell you similar products.  We also recommend checking in on the Environmental Protection Agency to see what their doing to make it easier for businesses to go Green.  And if you receive a package from a company that has a box that is way too large for the product and is filled with paper/styrofoam fillers, let the company know in an email (or, even better, on a blog) that you won’t be buying from them anymore unless they change their shipping methods.


And NEVER forget, you can reduce your shipping waste by 1) buying products online at sites like ecosumo, 2) using reusable bags and bottles, 3) having a reverse osmosis system installed so you don’t have to buy water in bottles anymore, and 4) either riding a bike or carpooling to the market with a friend or neighbor.  If you have feedback about this article or any of the opinions or facts in it, please comment using the blog and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


April 10, 2009 at 11:44 am 1 comment

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