Wildfires, smoke and motivation

ESG

Don’t get worried. Get motivated. 🌎❤️

It was dread, fear and worry. That’s what was in the pit of my stomach yesterday looking out over Toronto, Hamilton, and Burlington. What about you? Smoke and smog, everywhere. It was smoke from wildfires burning all over Canada. It felt like a fire raging down the street. 

For me, those feelings turned to motivation. I could feel it deep down. Why? Smoke will motivate people who have been on the fence. They will start asking, “Ok, what can I do?” I spent last week speaking to a few groups – some business owners, some executives, and some in the financial sector. The topic I was educating on was universal: Being “good” is good for business. And it is. I can assure you that it is. Increasing revenues, and decreasing expenses equals more profits. That is what “getting more sustainable” actually means. I spoke to a local credit union, to an audience of climate-passionate people, and to a group associated with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. 

ThisRock

But, let’s get back to the wildfires. 

Where and what is going on with the wildfires in Canada?

To highlight the wildfire problem and issue, I (purposely) pulled articles from across the media landscape. Physical smoke and smog can’t be debated. Most other things can. Here are 6 articles from today that speak to the smoke and smog floating across Canada and the USA this week

In five of the six publications and sites above, record-breaking hot and dry temperatures are at the helm of the story. It is also noted that climate change adds variability and intensity into the mix.

Canceled 

ThisRock signed a new client on the same day that smoke poured over Ontario from Quebec. My daughter’s soccer practice was canceled due to the smog and poor air quality. We are miles and miles away from any actual wildfire. The phone rang the same way it did during the early months of COVID lockdown. Calls from the school warning parents of reduced outdoor activity, a canceled track meet, and rescheduling of the end-of-year fun fair. I can’t help but recall how a pandemic seemed impossible 4 years ago. When a case was reported in our town in mid-April 2020, we all acted – business, governments, people – to contain it. Climate change and it’s impacts can often feel obscure. Physical evidence is here. 

Not canceled

Last night, a friend of mine posted on social media about that dread, fear and worry I mentioned above. “Canada is on fire,” she wrote. I am an optimist at heart. I care deeply. I’ve had times where hope was dull. But – today – as I drove across the Skyway Bridge to get to work in Hamilton (I couldn’t see the Toronto CN Tower as I normally would), motivation was strong. Like the “local case of COVID” triggered real action just a few years ago, I hope that wildfire smoke canceling little league games and creeping in through office windows will trigger action from people, owners, executives, governments and everyone in between. 

Ok, so now what

Well, crap. Soon the fires will die and then smoke will be gone. We’ll go back to our life until the next physical change occurs. Maybe it’ll be a wild storm that knocks out power and cuts off supply chains. Take this as a chance to spend a few minutes learning about how getting more environmentally-conscious can positively impact your pocketbook. 

  • Adding a sustainable product or service could allow you to charge a premium. 
  • Using less energy, materials, and water can reduce your expenses. 

You and your business can get more sustainable (e.g. easier on the planet and people) in a way that’s simple and profitable for your specific business. 

It’s go time.