January 23, 2014
What happened to all the clean air?
My desk has a pretty good location at the office. I sit by the window and have a great view of the Salt Lake valley. Right below us is a golf course. On the right you can see the Wasatch Mountains looming over the office. To the left is the western edge of the valley. And in the distance you can see downtown Salt Lake City. Even though it has gotten too cold to go golfing, I still like to look outside every now and then. It’s a good meditative practice. But lately, something’s been happening to my view. It’s literally been disappearing.
What happened? Well, the answer lies in a vocabulary term that native Utahns know far too well: “Inversion.”
I’m not a meteorologist, but from what I understand (and here’s a Wikipedia article explaining it a lot more scientifically), the inversion is what we get when the mountains and the frigid temperatures prevent the cold air in the valley from circulating. Basically, it’s like putting a lid on a tupperware bowl. All the emissions from all our cars and power plants essentially get trapped and are unable to escape the area.
How bad is the air right now? Well, if the air inside your office was as bad as the air outside of mine, the US Department of Labor could declare it a hazardous workplace.
According to the Air Quality Index, having an air rating of 50 or lower is considered “good.” We’re about to enter our fourth day in a row with a rating of over 150.
Smog like this obviously isn’t unique to Utah. There have been reports lately of how bad the air quality has gotten in China. A photo recently posted to Reddit shows what it looks like when the AQI reached 505 in Shanghai, which is literally off the charts:
I think we can all agree that pollution at this level is not healthy or sustainable. What can you do about it?
One of our core values at Packsize has been to show the world that it is possible to build a business that is not only profitable, but also sustainable. After being in business for 11 years, we’ve learned a thing or two about what you can do to help your business be more environmentally friendly:
- Buy eco-friendly cars for your company’s fleet.
- Encourage your employees to purchase electric vehicles by building charging stations in your parking lot.
- Get involved in your local government. Let your elected officials know that you support green initiatives.
- Look for green alternatives in your facilities. Things such as air filters, energy-efficient lightbulbs, and solar panels have all helped us save money while reducing our environmental impact.
- Create products that help others as well as help the environment.
- Make an effort to educate others on the environmental impact of your industry.
- Educate others on fun and easy ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- Make sure that “sustainability” isn’t just a buzzword, but a deeply rooted part of your company culture.
These are all efforts we at Packsize have taken to help reduce our impact on the environment. We’ve worked hard at remembering the environmental impact in everything we do, and we can honestly say it’s been worth it.
If you would like to ask us how we can help you reduce your environmental impact through sustainable packaging, drop us an email by filling out the form below.
We’d love to hear from you and are more than happy to help!