Environment

Are the Companies You Do Business With Green?

Posted by 19 January, 2009 (7) Comment

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In my humble opinion, a lot of companies are just jumping on the band wagon of being green because it’s the popular thing to do. I’m not sure how much of a green image is demanded by customers, but I’m sure it doesn’t hurt a company’s image. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that people are interested in the environment and such, but I think most companies are making an effort to be green more for “show” than actually trying to help the environment. Perhaps Yahoo (shown above) and Google may be exceptions.

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A prime example of this was on a Sunday Night Football game in 2007. NBC dimmed the lights for 20 minutes during a broadcast. So, I could barely see them and they still had all of the television equipment running not to mention the plasma televisions in the background. I’m glad that they are trying to be green, but did they do anything that had an impact on the environment or the perception of it’s viewers?

The NFL is putting a good bit of effort to be green for this year’s Big Game though. As far as powering the stadium, the NFL and it’s sponsors are coughing up an additional $5,000 to have the stadium powered by biomass and solar. The NFL is also planting 2,700 trees to help offset the carbon footprint from the game. The prepared food that doesn’t make it to the buffet lines will be donated to a local Tampa Bay charity. Also, the equipment used to help decorate and items used in festivities will be given to local non-profits and allow them to sell the items for an estimated value of more than $300,000. What do you think of this effort?

The business that I think is taking a potentially significant step forward though is Bank of America. Bank of America is the largest financial services company in the world. The company is the conglomeration of many companies over a series of decades. They have quite a bit of information on their website about being green, but so do a lot of other companies. However, that being said, Bank of America, in my opinion, has made a step in the right direction. They announced that they will no longer be loaning money to mining companies that mine coal through the practice of lopping the tops of mountains off to extract the coal. I am not intimately familiar with Bank of America’s finances, but my impression is that the banking industry as a whole is not doing well. The US National Mining Association points out that the Bank of America is not a major source of loans for mining projects so perhaps it’s all a moot point. What do you think? Is this a major step forward or is Bank of America doing this for show knowing that mining companies are not a large source of revenue?

All of these companies are doing varying things, but one of the most important things you can do to help out the environment is to stop buying stuff. Here is a link to a great video about the life of stuff.

What do you think about companies and their efforts to be green? Do you shop at certain businesses based on their level “green”? Are there any companies that you think are leading the charge on being environmentally friendly? Let us know in the comment section!

Photo by Yode Anecdotal

Related Resources:

So Did You Turn Off Any Lights Last Night When Bob Costas Told You To?
Ho
w this year’s Super Bowl is going green
50 Ways to Green Your Business
Mountaintop miners lose bank’s backing

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Categories : Environment Tags :

Interview: 2 Million Dollars Made in Network Marketing – It’s All About Leadership!

Posted by 12 January, 2009 (0) Comment

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We were pleased to have Bradley Bowden do an interview on Happiness Is Better. You can find Bradley on his humor blog, Outside My Brain or through Twitter.

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a natural born leader whose strongest quality is motivation. I created S.A.V.E (Students Against Vandalizing Earth) at Azusa Pacific University, where I attended. This organization created unique ways for the University to utilize recycle programs, educated the student body on eco-friendly living and participated in a “Get out the vote” campaign for a California State Proposition.

I then began building one of the largest organizations in Pre-Paid Legal Services in 1992, which profited me well over 2 million. I then sold my extremely successful business in 2008.

I was also a very successful trainer with world renown Anthony Robbins. I was put on the fast track with Mr. Robbin’s organization and blew away the competition at every stage. My experience from Mastery University has equipped me to lead thousands through both personal and business successes.

I am also an accomplished key note speaker and excel at training individuals as well as groups in multiple areas of focus. I am also very well known in social media circles as “OutsideMyBrain”, which shows my lively personality. I continue to hone my skills and stretch my abilities beyond my imagination every chance I get. My sole focus is to help others succeed as far as they are willing to go.

2. You’ve said that you were in Prepaid Legal in the past. How were you introduced to Prepaid Legal?

I was introduced to Pre-Paid Legal by a friend. She took me to see a gentleman by the name of Woody Alexander. Woody simply recited the “If you were my attorney” story and showed me the compensation plan and I was hooked.

3. What attracted you to Prepaid Legal versus the other network marketing companies out there?

It was such a simple concept. The key to any Network Marketing venture is that it has to be simple to explain and not require a huge amount of storage space. Since PPL was a service, there was simply no product to store and the presentation was incredibly simple. I’m also a huge fan of the Stair-Step Break-away commission structure. It’s one of the only plans out there that let’s you work deep into your organization (if necessary) and not get pinched financially for it.

4. I was actually in Prepaid Legal myself for a while. I still have the service because I like having quick and inexpensive access to a team of lawyers. I don’t consider my Prepaid Legal endeavor a success. What do you think you did that allowed you to be as successful as you were and become financially independent?

That’s a great question and if answered correctly would take four pages, but I’ll try to boil it down to just the main points. The first thing that forced me to be successful, which sort of answers question #4 is that I went full-time right out of the gate. Now, I don’t recommend any doing this, because it can be very stressful, however, I had no other choice but to sit down, crank out the phone calls, go on appointments and get people to join me in the business.

I believe that constantly listening to motivational tapes and working on improving myself and making myself a better person also led to my success. If you want to attract better people into your business, you have to become a better person. The great thing is that you don’t have to completely change overnight. If you just concentrate on making a 1/3 of 1% improvement every day, your life will be 100% better within one year.

One of the other critical factors was always watching what I ate and working out 3-5 times a week. Your energy level has a lot to do with your success. If you are completely wiped out and tired all of the time, you won’t have the energy it takes to go the extra mile.

Again, I could write a book, just on this subject, but I will leave you with one more. “If it is to be, it’s up to me”. No one is going to build your business for you. And, most of the time, the people that you bring in to your business aren’t going to build it either.

I implemented a concept in my team called “Links and Leaders”. Everyone you come in contact with is either a “Link” or a “Leader”. A “Link” will connect you to either another “Link” or another “Leader”. Leaders are few and far between, so you will end up with far more “Links” than you will “Leaders”. However, you must have the “Links” to be able to find the “Leaders”. So, it is your job to work through each “Link” until, until, until, UNTIL you have found a “Leader”. Otherwise, that line will die off and you’ll have to go out and recruit another person to replace the one you lost. Working through means just that, find out who the person you brought into the business knows. Get in front of those people either in person, or over the phone. Once you get someone they know to join you, you do the same thing with that person’s warm market.

Once you have found a “Leader” (which I discovered is usually somewhere between 4-6 levels away from you – I had one strong leader that was on my 14th generation) then you invest your time into training that person, live with them if you have to. Make sure that they are successful and most ofthe time, you will end up getting the people above that “Leader” excited as a result of all of the activity in their organization. OK, that one was a bonus!

5. How long were you in Prepaid Legal before you were able to walk away from your job?

As I mentioned, I went full-time from the get go. As a result, I made $55,000 my first year, $96,000 my second year, $160,000 my third and it just continued to grow from there.

6. You have since sold your Prepaid Legal business. Why did you do that? It seems like lifetime residual income would be a great thing.

I sold the business for personal reasons. A life time of residual income is a good thing which is why I am launching my own company with my wife.

7. You are now starting a new chapter in your life. Can you tell us more about your new company?

The new company is called Green Shield International. We are building the world’s largest “Green” referral network giving individuals the opportunity to profit from helping people reduce their carbon footprints.

The fact remains that the majority of people in the world, 95%, do not enjoy sales. And, a good portion of them hate it. So, it is insane to assume that everyone that gets into your business is going become a super star (or do anything for that matter). However, everyone always tells their friends, neighbors and relatives whenever they have found a good deal, or purchased a great product that they really like.

So we are creating a system that allows people to “refer” people into the business, or just to purchase the products, without having to do the work/presentation. We are going to overlap a “referral “ structure with a Direct Sales structure. They will complement each other in the fact that the “referral” marketing will provide a never ending supply of leads for the Direct Sales team and the “referrers” don’t have the do the sales, but will get paid a “referral fee” whenever someone they referred purchases one of our products.

We are starting with products that will reduce people’s energy bills by more than the cost of financing the products. Therefore, there is really no out-of-pocket costs for our products, we are simply transferring money sent to the utility companies to our company in exchange for “green” products that when installed, will reduce the consumer’s energy bills by at least 25%.

Although we will be adding more products as the company evolves, we are starting with two main products. The first product is Radiant Barrier Reflective Insulation, which when placed on top of the existing insulation, or stapled to the rafters, reflects 97% of the sun’s radiant heat away from the home and it also keeps the heat in the home during the winter. Our second product is a Kilowatt power reducer which is installed on your electricity wires right before your meter. It reduces the amount of power that is sent through the meter without affecting the appliances in the home. In reality the surplus energy that is pumped into a home or business is wasted. This unit reduces the amount of power thereby saving the homeowner on their electricity bills.

8. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Did you know that to produce one Kilowatt hour of electricity it takes one pound of coal? The average family consumes 1300 Kilowatt hours per month. That’s 7.5 tons of coal per family per year. The residue from burning coal, termed Coal Ash, is worse for the environment than nuclear waste.

Although we will be initially launching the business in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, we are out to change the world. To make it a better place to live and to give families the ability to earn extra income. Many individuals who see the vision could become millionaires with our company. So therefore, our motto (coined by my wife, Alison) is “Get Green – Going Green™”.

©2009 Bradley Bowden

Bradley Bowden

Bradley’s Contact Information:

Humor Blog: Outside My Brain
Self-Improvement Blog: Outside My Brain Again
Business Website Green Shield International
Social Media:
Facebook:
Bradley Bowden
Twitter: OutsideMyBrain
StumbleUpon: OutsideMyBrain

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Categories : Entrepreneur,Environment Tags : , , ,

17 Ways to Save the Planet

Posted by 15 December, 2008 (6) Comment

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I read articles quite often that provide their list of ways to save the Earth. If I type in “Ways to Save the Plant” into Google, there are 506,000 different links. Wow, that’s a lot of information. There is no denying that many of these websites and blogs offer terrific advice, but how do we know what is most effective? If I compiled a list of all of the different methods for saving the planet, I’m sure I would collect hundreds, if not thousands. Treehugger offers 25 Ways to Save the Planet and Smartmoney offers 20 Ways to Save the Planet which is certainly a digestible amount compared to the 100 Ways to Save the Planet that Life Goggles offers.

So, which of these tips, methods, hacks is the best use of your time for helping the save the planet?

Fortunately, Gerald Gardner and Paul Stern wrote a great article in Environment Magazine detailing a list of actions that can be taken to achieve the greatest savings of energy and carbon emissions and is prioritized with percentage of energy saved!

According to Gerald Gardner and Paul Stern, the 17 most effective actions are:

Action

For all individuals and households Immediate low-cost/ no-cost actions


Transportation

Energy Saved (percent)

1. Carpool to work with one other person

Up to 4.2

2. Get frequent tune-ups , including air filter changes

3.9

3. Alter driving (avoid sudden acceleration and stops

Up to 3.2

4. Combine errand trips to one-half current mileage

Up to 2.7

5. Cut highway speeds from 70 to 60 mph

Up to 2.4

6. Maintain correct tire pressure

1.2

Potential Savings subtotal

Up to 17.6

Inside the home

1. Lighting: Replace 85% of all incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent

4.0

2. Space conditioning:

Heat: Turn down thermostat from 72F to 68F during the day and 65F at night

A/C: Turn up the thermostat from 73F to 78F

3.4

3. Clothes washing: Use only warm water (or cold) wash , cold rinse setting

1.2

Potential savings subtotal

8.6

For all individuals and households Longer term , higher-cost actions

Transportation

1. Buying low-rolling resistance tires

1.5

2. Buy a more fuel-efficient automobile (30.7 vs. 20 mpg EPA average adjusted composite)

13.5

Potential savings subtotal for two actions listed

15.0

For homeowners: Inside the home Immediate low-cost action

1. Space conditioning: Caulk/ weather strip home

Up to 2.5

Immediate higher-cost action

Space conditioning: Install/upgrade attic insulation and ventilation

Up to 7.0

Potential savings subtotal for two actions listed

Up to 9.5

Long-term , higher-cost actions

Space conditioning: Install a more efficient heating unit (92 percent efficiency)

2.9

2. Space conditioning: Install a more efficient A/C unit (Seer 13 or EER 12 units)

2.2

3. Refrigeration/freezing: Install a more efficient unit (replace a 19-21.4 cubic foot top-freezer unit bought between 1993 and 2000 with a new Energy Star unit

1.9

4. Water heating: Install a more efficient water heater (EFS .7 unit)

1.5

Potential savings subtotal for four actions listed

8.5

Total potential savings for all six homeowner actions listed

Up to 18.0

Given this information, we could save a whopping 59.2% of energy. That’s a staggering figure when you consider that this doesn’t involve a hybrid. It doesn’t involve solar panels, wind farms, or anything very different than what we do today. Some of these are high dollar items and you should not consider those options unless they are necessary, but you can save a lot of energy by doing a lot of low cost actions. Based on the table above from Gerald Gardner and Paul Stern, you could follow through on 7 of the items and do all of them at little to no cost and save up to 20.1% in energy. In addition, a lot of these energy saving tips can also save you some dough such as cutting highway speed from 70 to 60 mph or maintaining tire pressure which both save money on gas.

Have you already been implementing some of these actions into your life? I was actually shocked how little of an effect a new heating unit or cooling unit for your house had on energy reduction.

If you enjoyed this article, please leave me a comment. I love comments :).

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Categories : Environment Tags :

The Biggest Bailout Ever

Posted by 11 December, 2008 (2) Comment

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The U.S. and many governments around the world are bailing out their various industries due to poor decisions on the part of these companies. The U.S. has recently bailed out the insurance giant AIG, gave the major U.S. banks billions and is currently investigating whether the government should bail out GM, Ford and Chrysler.

There was a great article in New Scientist recently that discussed economic and population growth and it’s detriment to the environment. The U.S. government can print more money and sell more bonds, but what are we going to do WHEN, not if, we run out of the Earth’s natural resources. An example of a natural resource in high demand is platinum. We don’t have the ability to just make more platinum. Platinum is used as a catalyst in a number of products such as the catalytic converter which is used on every car around the world (well, countries that care about emissions).

We’re going to have a lot of tough choices in the near future in regards to economic growth, birth rates, jobs, and resources. According to the World Wildlife Fund, as of 2005, we need ~1.4 planets to sustain our current need for resources.

Above all, the largest component that needs less of an ecological footprint is energy. Energy, according to late Nobel Prize winner Dr. Richard Smalley, is the number 1 global concern.

“Why is energy always preeminent? When we look at a prioritized list of the top 10 problems, with energy at the top, we can see how energy is the key to solving all of the rest of the problems – from water to population:

  1. Energy
  2. Water
  3. Food
  4. Environment
  5. Poverty
  6. Terrorism and war
  7. Disease
  8. Education
  9. Democracy
  10. Population

Take the second problem on the list, for example: water. Already billions of people around our planet live without reliable access to clean water for drinking and agriculture. As population continues to build and the depletion of aquifers worsens, we will need to find vast new resources of clean water. Luckily, our planet has huge resources of water, but most of it has salt in it, and it is often thousands of miles away from where we need it. We can solve this problem with energy: desalinate the water and pump it vast distances. But without cheap energy, there is no acceptable answer.”

Obviously everyone needs to do their part in order for this to work in helping to “save” the Earth. Fortunately, on the “cheap” energy front, we have some brilliant people diligently working that major effort for us. The venture capital funding for companies has more than quadrupled from 2005 to 2007 according to Techcrunch.

Photo by Notionscapital

External Resources

http://assets.panda.org/downloads/living_planet_report_2008.pdf

http://www.panda.org/news_facts/publications/living_planet_report/footprint/index.cfm

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Categories : Environment Tags : ,