"When the Sustainability Movement began, it felt like I was cheating. Not because I was absent, rather it is the only way of life for me". This is a comment I have often used as it is 100% true! Let me explain.
I grew up on a small farm in north Georgia. We had livestock, a garden, an orchard of never chemmed apple trees, and a next door neighbor with bee boxes. There was not a day that went by that I was not involved in some part of that farm. The people I met, like Mr Garlen, down the street who raised dairy cows. It was a daily education of working farms. And I loved it!
The farm life gave me an interesting perspective, and created a curious mind in me. As I got older my grandmother would allow me to visit her shop in town. The shop was a glass bottle recovery location on one side and a health food store on the other side. This is where I learned about The Gulf of Mexico as my grandmother would buy fish from fisherman there and have them freighted to her store. This meant fresh sea food in north Georgia, which was certainly unique. Anyone who doesn't know what I meant with "glass bottle recovery location" it was a business that bought used glass bottles. This was what gave ideas to "bottle taxes" that we currently see on the side of most beverage containers. Much to learn. And seeing both sides of the "food equation". I lived and worked on a farm plus saw restaurant owners visit grandmother's shop to purchase fresh fish. So I began to understand the concept of "farm to table" before most had even heard the term.
These examples given thus far are the beginning of a life long education. And best believe there was so much more.
My dad would take me hunting and fishing. He would only harvest what we would eat. And the deer meat (venison) became my preferred meat of choice. We knew where it came from, how it was harvested, and most of what it ate since we knew the land owner real well.
The idea of "reuse" was implemented all around me. Granddad would keep things in cleaned out peanut butter jars, lids, and hang them in his workshop. Dad would not throw away any wood, as "it can be turned into blocks" he would say. And almost every time I would notice that when we needed something dad or granddad had it around. We didn't have to go to the store. We have what we needed.
While at university during the late 90's and early 2000's, I kept reading about the new "Green Rush" that was happening. Or projected to happen. And since I grew up in corn liquor (ethanol/moonshine) country in north Georgia, I had a good idea of what was coming. I began a curbside recycling business to offer more access to recycling for the people of rural Georgia. I knew a lot about recycling already from my grandmother shop as well as my dad had implemented the first or one of the first private recycling centers at the private community he supervised. The business did well, provided community education, worked with schools, and immediately saw how valuable the material could be. I say could because you have to have a use in order for something to be valuable. Then a call came in from one of the restaurants provided recycling service. The owner asked "Paul, can you do something with the grease from the fryers?" This question opened my eyes to what combustion engines do, with what, and how they were originally made. The original diesel motor was designed by Rudolf Diesel, an engineer that meant to run the motor on agricultural oils not petroleum. I told the restaurant owner "I will figure something out" and we did. We developed a collection method, filtration method, and duel fuel systems for the NPR Isuzu box truck used in the recycling business so they would operate with used cooking oil (uco) as the fuel. This innovation paid off big when the fuel crunch of the mid 2000's hit, got the attention of a lot of business people, and had me in all kinds of meeting.
I was at the Southface meetings when LEED Certification was being defined. I was at Southeast Bioenergy Board when ethanol was decided to be used as major fuel alternative. I was at Zero Waste meetings talking about composting value of organics for large cities. I have been partners to multiple brilliant innovators and engineers. One was a pioneer of the original EV1 electric car. I have been blessed to be around brilliant minds for a long time, and it has rubbed off.
The above details are some of the elements in life that have brought us here today where:
4E Consulting offers clients high level business services and evaluations of opportunities that will pay off.
4E Distribution can provide you all natural products that are worth switching to.
i3 has innovative products and services to bring to the world, now seeking partners.
Neo Media Group can help bring your creative mind to life.
4E Enterprises has a life of experience and know how to take you, your family, your business, your community into a better day ahead.
In regards to the hot topic of today, Sustainability, we still think we are cheating. We have done what most are still thinking about. And that should give you confidence in what we are doing now.
Get in touch today if you are interested in our products and services, or if you are interested in partnering with us to make some positive things happen!