At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20), nations recognized having a green economy as a tool for achieving sustainable social, economic and environmental development. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has defined a green economy as "one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities".
In its simplest expression, a green economy can be considered as one that is low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive. This concept responds to the global economic, social and financial crises by redistributing natural, social and financial capital in order to generate benefits for economic development, social equity and environmental protection.
There are many ways to work towards a green economy, and many are as different as the type of businesses out there. We asked our Makers what exactly they do to preserve nature, the environment, human well-being and ensure economic development.
“We use grains and herbs that when they have reached the end of their useful life can be deposited back into the earth. The masks we make use natural fillings that can be heated or cooled, and work as an alternative to gel packs. The blankets are largely made of natural blankets and are washable to extend the life of the product.
Blé’s pillows work wonders on many ailments.
“At Ojalá Ediciones, we print on FSC certified paper, which come from environmentally and socially responsible managed forests. We try to consume only what is necessary and manage our own waste - whether it’s by reusing, recycling or composting with organics.”
We recently shot Stephanie, from Ojalá Ediciones, in her workshop. Click here to watch the full video.Bibelot
“Bibelot gets its products from local and small producers, when possible. We are also in the process of changing our packaging to compostable bags.”
Their Apple-Roselle-Cinammon infusion is a great option for those quitting caffeine.
“Enraizados' system to handle its waste is fairly circular: the waste is minimal and the water used when making ceramics is basically null. We even try to use rainwater and make sure all hand washing is done before any excess mud is recollected for its reuse. We use the ovens at the most economical hours, which go from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am.”
This little diablito just wants to have coffee with you.
Green Economy 101: Wagat Upcycling Lab
“Wagat Upcycling Lab is a plastic recycling craft factory. We use HDPE or high density polyethylene, the one which most detergent containers come in. We wash them, crush them and we extrude them to create decorative flower pots and baskets for your house.”
“At Pia Pottery, we work with local clay, we pack our pieces in the most eco-friendly way possible. We use paper bags, cardboard boxes, newspapers, shredded paper and egg cartons. We try to work in batches to save time and energy and we turn the ovens only until they are full to capacity.”
Pia Pottery follows a very wabi sabi philosophy to its craft: the small imperfections of each cup make it just perfect.
“We collect leftover peels and rinds from companies that make orange juice. Pineapple and banana leftovers come from farmer’s markets, and mango seeds are given from street vendors who sell sliced mango. Raw materials are cured with natural elements such as sea salt, vinegar and then dehydrated under the sun.”
All of Joyería Frutal’s pieces are made by hand in their workshop.
“Since the idea is to eliminate single-use plastic, Tutte bags are made to be as durable as possible. Cutlery and straws are made of stainless steel. Also, every product is delivered in paper bags, and we prefer using stamps instead of stickers.”
For Tutte, ensuring the highest quality of their product helps protect the environment.
“The pineapple rinds, which are of no use to us, are given to local farmers to use as food for their cattle. We donate syrup to communities, so that families can use it to sweeten their drinks. Finally, we use kraft paper packaging.
Also, although they are not classified as green practices as part of our CSR, we ensure part of the process is carried out by an association of women entrepreneurs from Pueblo Nuevo, Guácimo, Limón. Second, a percentage of our profits is destined to social projects in the district of Duacarí, Guácimo, Limón for the development of vegetable gardens in local schools.”
In a green economy, businesses have to think of every step in the production process.
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