Earth Day Reflections

by George Danellis

It was Earth Day this past Sunday and I’d like to share a bit about the origins of the day and what it means to us here at ECO.

Earth Day commemorates the beginning of the era when as a country, the US began to more accurately recognize the value of the natural world for the wellbeing and prosperity we seek. Before 1970, a factory could spew toxics into the air or dump hazardous waste into a nearby stream (and many did), and that was perfectly legal. There were few legal or regulatory mechanisms in place to protect the environment and the impacts on people. The trigger for this new approach to regulating the state of the environment came after Rachel Carson chronicled the problems caused by pollution, particularly synthetic pesticides in her epic book, Silent Spring (1962). This book for the first time brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people.

The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970 as a national celebration of the earth and in support of environmental protection. Amazingly, 20 million Americans demonstrated on that day in different U.S. cities, galvanizing Congress to pass critical legislation, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.  Three years later, the Environmental Protection Agency was established with a mission to protect human health and the environment.

Today we continue to celebrate Earth Day and remember that it is not just a moment in history, but a movement in which we can participate every day. The Earth Day message to “think globally and act locally” as environmental stewards has never been more timely or important. Resource depletion, climate change, overpopulation, and other critical issues necessitate that we share the responsibility to do as much as we can to steward the planet’s finite natural resources while seeking opportunities for the world’s inhabitants. This is the essence of sustainability.

At ECO Corporation we believe that by acting in this way it’s possible for us to enjoy a wonderful quality of life, and to avert the greatest of the adversity that results from ignoring the state of natural world. In addition to taking individual action to see that we live within the biosphere’s limits, businesses can benefit greatly when they become self-actuated and develop a sustainability mindset, to become more resource-efficient and to recognize the impacts they have on people and the communities they live in. This is what we call living the SolarRain Lifestyle – a holistic philosophy that draws upon the natural order of things as a guide to leading healthy, happy and prosperous lives. (More on that to come….)

Happy Earth Day!

What is ECO Corporation?

By George Danellis

So this marks the first post on this new blog for ECO Corporation, or ECO Corp as it is also commonly known.

And I am sure some of you are thinking, “Great, another blog.” And a “green” one at that. Well, I’ll offer that what you read hear, and what gets communicated by our bloggers as well as those who participate in the conversation, might be a bit different than what you are used to. Yes, we are a business (a suite of businesses to be more exact – you can read more about that below) so of course we’ll be talking both about our own businesses as well as others in our areas of activity that we think might just matter. But at ECO Corp we are in business to do well financially by doing things in a way that might just make sense for people in the longer term. A way that leads to profitability while also working to better address environmental and social impacts and to be a part of the transition to a clean energy economy. One where prosperity is about the well-being of people and all the things that support it. We believe that it’s possible and rewarding to live a sustainable life.  Even in the corporate world.  The technology is here, and sometimes the intention.  We can power our vehicles,  feed our people, breath good air and drink good water without undermining the conditions on which these rely.  But we need to be honest with ourselves, and truly embrace a lifestyle that promotes that kind of living and thinking.

Now we’ve heard a lot about this approach to business over the past several years, and thankfully some progress is being made. There’s been a lot of bluster is too – it’s often called greenwashing. And that has made it hard to discern who’s doing what and in what manner.

What we aim to accomplish with this blog is to be authentic about what we are doing, and what others are doing to be more “sustainable”.  I’ll say right now that you’re going to read some things in posts that you’ll take issue with. Great! Let us know what you think by commenting at the end of posts. Let’s have a discussion that makes us all more effective. And if it’s at all possible, let’s adhere to the old maxim that suggesting problems without offering solutions doesn’t do us a lot of good. Please share your reasoning for why you disagree with something written here, or with a suggested approach , and then give us your suggestions for righting it. Because at ECO Corp we are 100% sure that we don’t have all the answers – we’re just doing our best to figure out how to do good things, for our owners and for stakeholders up and down the value chain. And we want our activities to inspire and inform others to do the same.

So what does ECO Corporation do? ECO is a company that identifies waste where it either is not seen or is mis-perceived, and turns that “waste” into something valuable. Another way to look at it is that we extend the life-cycle value of existing products and services. In the case of the performance of the built environment  we act as owner’s representatives for energy efficiency-based commercial building retrofits. Currently we are working on the 20-story building that houses the LA County Superior Courthouse. Together with our carefully selected partners, we are modernizing their building to improve tenant health and satisfaction while increasing its value, and simultaneous reducing energy and other utility costs and pollutant emissions.  ECO Corporation is involved in several other businesses as well. While we’ll share much more in the coming weeks here is a snippet:

  • One of ECO’s companies has developed a thermal powered desalination system capable of using waste heat or solar generated heat,  that with almost no electrical energy can turn sea water into delicious and healthy drinking water. This same technology can clean waste agricultural water, and more.
  • We also have a natural skin care line that uses pure salts and water that are byproducts (known formerly as “waste”) of this solar distillation process to create remarkable skin care products.
  • The solar still technology is the first one to be developed by our Research and Development Company and can be used for various applications.
  • The brine that is left after the distillation of the sea water is used as a high quality, natural solution for the commercial aquarium industry. One that eliminates the need for synthetic products and massive freighting of sea water from the coasts. Our sea water solution is roughly 1/5 the volume of sea water and can be re-constituted on site.

I’ll stop there for now, but I hope gives a picture of what we are about at Eco Corp. We’ll share more in the future but know that at ECO we are committed to activities that encourage a lifestyle and a way of doing business that is healthy and rewarding, that more accurately accounts for natural and human capital in this resource constrained world, and that leaves us with a greater sense of well-being.

We don’t harbor any illusions that the road to a more sustainable world is marked with potholes the size of Ford Expeditions, but we are pretty sure that if our collective energy and spirit is truly aligned with finding solutions, then we will. And we’ll even make money doing it.

Until next time…..