Help Companies be Green

Feb 7th, 2011 | By | Category: Youth Blog

Sometimes, a company that is harming the environment can do something to make its work safer for the environment. However, such measures cost more money and only help the environment, not the company. For example, BP oil spill could have been prevented if more expensive means were adopted to carry out the project.

I have read literature complaining about greedy companies. Okay, but now, what to do about it? There might be one solution – give money and aid to them.

If companies are given money only to pay off their environmental costs, they will eagerly accept, because of popular support for environmentalism. So, I suggest that the environmental movements help the companies by shouldering their clean environment costs. Give money to companies so they try rather more expensive methods of creating products that are environmentally safe. The environmental organizations are supposed to use their money to help the environment after all. They can go beyond complaining and lobbying.

There is a recession and companies are being bailed out, meaning that governments are giving money to them. The government also should bail out the environment by giving money to companies only for being green.

A long time ago, I decided to write a blog about a mining company’s decision to dump toxic waste into Alaska’s Tongass river. I abandoned the project incomplete and unpublished. What I was investigating back then presents a perfect example for the argument I am making here, hence here it is.

In the Tongass forest in the southern, thin strip of Alaska, a silver and gold mining company Coeur D’Alene Mines is mining. They want to do something that might seriously harm the environment of Alaska, and the Supreme Court approves of the procedure.

The company has a lot of toxic metal waste at hand, and they have to throw it somewhere. Rather than bearing the cost of transporting thousands of tons of metal sludge to some desert, the company wants to dump all of it into the Lower Slate lake of the Tongass forest. They asked the Supreme Court to allow them to do it, and the court agreed. The amount of waste they want to dump is four million tons.

The problem here is that Coeur D’Alene is unwilling to spend money to properly dispose of the waste. It would be much cheaper for them to dump that waste into the region around their mining area, the Slate lake in the Tongass forest. Proper disposal would be expensive, and they don’t want to commit all that money. The environmental community takes note of this and complains. If they want to stop the Coeur D’Alene company to not dump the waste around, there is one productive way; pay off the company’s cost of transporting the waste.

Environmental organizations can finance and aid the Coeur project to carefully dispose of the metal sludge to some faraway place, either by doing it themselves or by just giving money to Coeur. The government can pool in too. The company would not spend anything out of its own money, and both it and the Tongass forest would be happy.

Funding proper disposal of waste should be a major part of the work of environmental organizations. Oil companies might be careless in their environmental safety rules in order to save money. Mining companies and factories might not want to bear the cost of disposing of their waste and residue in as environmentally safe manner. Why not share the cost of environmentally clean solutions?

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