Monday, February 28, 2011

Letting Nothing Go To Waste

As the population worldwide increases, our natural resources continue to decrease. Some resources, such as fossil fuels, will never regenerate and slowly this reality seems to be sinking in across the globe. In the future, using alternative forms of energy and fuel won’t be a decision we can make, it will be a reality we will live. Perhaps not in my lifetime, or the lifetime of my children, but at some stage in the future, reliance on energy not harnessed from fossil fuels will be our reality.

Jernhusen, a real estate company in Sweden is taking a unique approach to lowering dependency on non-renewable resources by taking advantage of something we take for granted: body heat.

"There are about 250,000 people a day who pass through Stockholm Central Station. They in themselves generate a bit of heat.” ~ Klas Johnasson, head of Jernhusen’s environmental division.

The excess heat, which otherwise would likely be vented outdoors, is converted into hot water which is then directed to a nearby office building where it is used as a heat source.

If this same practice could be applied elsewhere, not only could businesses reduce their ecological footprints, but they could save a lot of money. Money that perhaps could be donated to charitable organizations (thus netting the company a tax break, making it a win/win proposition).

Until gas prices rise considerably or fossil fuel supplies dwindle significantly, it is unlikely that we will see innovations such as this in North America, but as emerging business people, my generation has the power to lay the foundation for new ideas such as this to become a reality.

By: Jon Craven

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