10 ways to reduce your consumption

26 08 2013

Originally posted on Sustaining Community Engagement:

If we want resilient, sustainable communities, we need to reduce our focus on economic growth, materialism and consumption.

While creating a less materialistic world will require major changes to our economic systems and there will be fierce opposition from many vested interested, there are also things we can do as individuals. Here are 10 ways we can reduce our consumption.

Photo by Ed Mitchell http://flic.kr/p/7rTxS1

Photo by Ed Mitchell http://flic.kr/p/7rTxS1

Earn less – the more we earn the more we spend. As our income increases, so does our standard of living and consumption.

Compare yourself to people worse of than you. We can always find people who earn more, have a nicer house, or go on more frequent holidays. But we can also always find people who are struggling to feed their families, who have never been on a plane, who can’t afford the necessities of life. We decide who we compare ourselves to.

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Oligopsony is a word we all should know

17 06 2013

bambusasolutions:

If more people understood this, “buy local” messages would be much more effective and our farmers and small manufacturers would be that much more sustainable.

Originally posted on Sustainability Australia!:

The unhealthy situation that exists in Australia’s retail sector is well documented.  With the two main players, Coles and Woolworths, holding over 70% of the market, Australia has one of the most concentrated retail sectors anywhere in the world.

This is, effectively, a comfortable duopoly where both players make good returns for shareholders.   Unfortunately this is causing serious damage to Australia’s farming and manufacturing sectors and it is beyond comprehension that this situation has been allowed to worsen.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vagawi/2557667747/

vicious dogs

 

Oligopoly

In itself, having a limited number of competitors within a small market such as Australia should not be a problem.  In fact, we have oligopolies in many of our major consumer sectors:

Industry sector Main Competitors
Airline Qantas/Jetstar, Virgin/Tiger
Telephony Telstra, Optus, Vodafone
Banking Commonwealth, Westpac, ANZ, NAB
Media News, Fairfax
Grocery Coles, Woolworths

Yet the oligopoly within our grocery sector appears to attract the largest amount of public criticism.

So…

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The similarities of blogging and social media

15 06 2013

Originally posted on Success Network Recipes:

Social media and blogging are surprisingly similar. Another word for Twitter is micro-blogging, which I think is a very apt description. Even though you are restricted to only 140 characters, it is an excellent medium to express yourself in whatever you want to say.

This is also true in the status update fields in Facebook (profiles, pages and groups), LinkedIn and Google+ and any other social media platform that has social updates. When did you last add in a comment into these? It has the advantage that you’re not restricted to only 140 characters as on Twitter, and in some cases your update can be republished on Twitter with a link to see the remainder of your message.

Is socialising networking?

So why should you express yourself on social media? Watching some of my contacts socialise I’ve been fascinated in how well they are doing. In this case I mean…

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Sustainability as an add-on

3 06 2013

Originally posted on Keep the game, change the rules:

In my last post I discussed the sentence “We’ve added sustainability to our mission statement”, which I’ve heard quite some times already. I’d like to continue where I stopped last time. Besides the discussion on whether or not a mission statement is a useful instrument, there’s a big problem with what I call “sustainability as an add-on”.

Sustainability at the core of your business plan

The problem with adding something to your business model is that you can also (and almost as easily) remove it again. This is something that you can see happen over and over again with companies and organisations that are facing a crisis. These companies often remove the things they’ve added last, in order to get their focus back on the core-business, in the hope this will end the problems they’re facing.

It won’t. And more important, by acting like this, employees and customers will stop…

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North Queensland Business and Franchise Expo

17 05 2013

I had a great day out today at the NQ Business and Franchise Expo in Townsville.  It’s on again tomorrow, so if any of my followers out there are in Townsville tomorrow, I would highly recommend that you get along and check it out.

For those that can’t make it there, I thought I would share some information about the businesses and organisations that I connected with today.  Firstly, the organisations that support small business development in our region:

The North Queensland Small Business Development Centre
nqsmallbusiness.com
The centre provides a range of services to its members, including workshops, mentoring, referrals, and events.

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)
www.accc.gov.au
This federal government organisation provides a range of services to consumers and business including Scam Watch.

Small Business Solutions
www.smallbusinesssolutions.qld.gov.au
A Queensland government service for small businesses, providing workshops and mentoring.

Townsville Enterprise
www.townsvilleenterprise.com.au
North Queensland’s Regional Development Organisation, TEL provides networking opportunities to its members and promotes the region and NQ business locally and nationally.

Success Business Magazine
www.successbusinessmag.com.au
A business magazine published in Townsville.

Grace Records Management
gracerecords.com.au
Records management, archiving and shredding services for businesses of any size.

Townsville Business Women’s Network
www.tbwn.org.au
Networking, events, mentoring and support for business women in the Townsville region, including Ayr and Charters Towers.

Business Plus
www.businessplustsv.com.au
Bookkeeping and business development services.

Annittel Support Services
anittel.com.au
IT and telecommunications services

Now for some of the interesting franchise opportunities presented at the expo*:

Salts of the Earth
Salts of the Earth is an Australia-wide franchise looking for franchisees in North Qld. They provide Salt Therapy – a natural therapy that cleanses the respiratory system, detoxifies the body and promotes health and wellbeing.  I’m hoping they find a Townsville franchisee soon, because I’d certainly give this a go.

Cariblue
www.cariblue.com.au
Marketing and business management services.

BforB Australia
www.bforb.com.au
Referral marketing and networking support services.

*Note:  I’m not necessarily endorsing these franchises as my total research into them involves a brief chat and a business card.  These were just the ones that I thought were interesting enough to look into further.




How commonplace books were like Tumblr and Pinterest

14 05 2013

bambusasolutions:

Intriguing!

Originally posted on tomstandage.com:

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Shared journals were an early form of social media, and the mass-media era may have been a historical aberration. These were two of the claims made by Lee Humphreys, a communications and media researcher at Cornell University, who gave a talk this week at Microsoft Research’s Social Media Collective. I agree with her on both counts, of course, though I would trace the sharing of journals back further, to the commonplace books of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Humphreys has examined in detail how people in the 19th century would share their diaries with visiting families and friends by reading aloud, in order to tell them what had been going on in their lives. She has also analysed the diary entries of Charlie Mac, a soldier in the American Civil War, which he copied out and sent home as letters to his family (and anyone else they wanted…

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The Radical Redesigning of Business for Resilience

23 04 2013

Originally posted on The Nature of Business:

Can business be a force for good, restoring society and the environment, providing solutions that genuinely help rather than hurt?

Ought business to be striving for more than just limiting its harm?

I think we intuitively know it can, yet it requires courage to break rank from the mainstream approach to business.

overcome change

The prevailing business paradigm of maximization, monoculture, self-interest and short-termism is weakening its own resilience, in turn sowing the seeds of its own demise. Our prevalent business concepts, values, perceptions and practices are being disrupted and systemically challenged. This ‘perfect storm’ of crises provides the perfect situation for individuals and organisations to retrench (clinging fearfully to outdated mindsets) or transform (embracing new ways of operating). For those able to adapt in these volatile times, they face nothing less than a shift to a new business paradigm; a way forward that seeks to enhance life on Earth rather than…

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