Check today’s to-do list. Does it include saving the planet? Many of us care deeply about protecting and restoring our planet from the terrible thrashing it’s been forced to bear. Still, how many of us can say we’ve actually stepped up to take responsibility and action?
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless in the face of rising greenhouse gas emissions, polluted waterways, and overpopulation.
Find Motivation in the Pages of Eco Barons
Sometimes all we need is a strong dose of inspiration. Enter, Edward Humes’ book, Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers and Millionaires Who Are Saving Our Planet.
In just under 400 pages, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author spins a compelling narrative about a select set of wealthy entrepreneurs, green technology engineers, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving our planet’s environment.
Eco Barons then empowers its readers by providing ways each of us can contribute to the environmental legacy we leave for our children and grandchildren.
Funding Land Conservation in a Big Way
Doug and Kris Tompkins, founders of Esprit, North Face and Patagonia, are center-stage in Eco Barons. Together they are devoting $200 million to land conservation efforts.
Already, they have donated tens of thousands of hectares of pristine, wildland to Chile and Argentina to be set aside as national parks. They are not doing this in a hands-off manner either; the couple has spent years living in South America, working with local eco-entrepreneurs to create and shepherd these projects.
The story of Roxanne Quimby, the founder of personal care products “Burt’s Bees,” is also one of enthusiasm, creativity, and foresight. She has directed much of her fortune to protect 120,000 acres of a Maine forest that otherwise would have fallen to clear the way for suburbs, strip malls, and golf courses.
She is now working to set aside the majority of her holdings for a new national park.
The Green Technology Game Changers of Eco Barons
Not all the heroes of Eco Barons are wealthy individuals. Equipped with knowledge, shrewdness, and persistence, the humbler stars of Eco Barons make up for any lack of funds.
A perfect example lies in the efforts of The Center for Biological Diversity. Its members put up a large fight without a large wallet. This nonprofit is melding its limited resources with smart science and legal tactics to wage its fight against climate change by helping polar bears via the Endangered Species Act.
You’ll also come across the story of Andy Frank, an engineering professor. Andy and his students have spent over 20 years of personal effort in education and promotion of affordable plug-in hybrid automobiles to lawmakers and the auto industry. He is considered the father of PHEV vehicles.
Giving Planet Earth Your Personal Best
Humes knows that saving the planet is not entirely up to the wealthy or those with the scientific knowledge and stamina to convince others to employ green technologies. Everyone has a part to play in healing our relationship with the Earth’s environment, including you.
To emphasize how big an impact we can have on the world just by making changes at home, Eco Barons reinforces the maxim:
“Think Globally, Act Locally.”
Eco Barons includes an appendix of educational resources and practical tips for reducing your personal environmental impact every day.
One especially helpful tip is to make informed choices regarding where you shop. Consider that Kohl’s sells reusable shopping bags, has 78 stores with solar power and pursues green building techniques.
The Body Shop has held the health of the planet as one of their five core corporate values for nearly 40 years. They run numerous environmental programs that put their money where their values are.
Eco Barons: The Takeaway
From examples of wealthy capitalists preserving ecosystems to scientists developing green technologies to individuals reducing their daily carbon footprint, Eco Barons will raise your environmental awareness and renew your faith that making smart choices can improve the world for everyone.
Eco Barons is available from Amazon in both paperback and hardcover versions. Once you have finished it, you may find that saving the planet does have a place on your daily task list.