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Founder story: Elon Musk (co-founder) is a controversial figure with a complicated history. But he is a forward-thinker that can help drive a more sustainable future.
Industry standards: Automakers have a history of poor environmental standards. The manufacturing process requires loads of resources, equipment and infrastructure. Tesla has a $500bn+ market cap, so we understand that complete sustainability is difficult to accomplish.
Materials: Modern cars use metals (aluminum in common), silica, rubber, plastic, rubber, soy, wheat, rice… to name a few. In terms of sustainability, the lithium ion battery is most concerning.
Tesla's current battery uses cobalt... linked to human rights violations in the Congo. Cobalt also makes the vehicle more expensive. Tesla is currently working to remove cobalt from their supply chain.
Ethics: To hit ambitious production goals, Tesla overworked domestic workers in a pretty ugly way. That adds to their controversy in the Congo. Not a good look when a billionaire does so well and you find out workers were unhappy.
Bottom line: Tesla has sustainability tied to its mission, and they are doing awesome things in the solar energy space. Still, their current business model is not sustainable. Wait until Tesla removes cobalt, improves worker conditions and reduces vehicle prices to make an ethical purchase.
Dig deeper → 5 min.
Curious about running a sustainable small business? Once a fringe business strategy, sustainability has become a prerequisite for any new business hoping to succeed in the long-term. Whether you own a pizza shop, landscaping company, real-estate firm or just starting out, prioritizing sustainability is an easy and effective way to distinguish your small business and ensure long-term stability.
This guide will help you adapt, react and plan for the wave of industry trends that prioritize social impact in a post-pandemic world.
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The short answer: 5G is bad for the environment. Or at least it's not good for it.The rollout of the 5G cellular network requires A LOT of energy and infrastructure. In the United States, much of that energy comes from natural gas and fossil fuels. Higher (and more frequent) demand for energy = more gas & oil = tougher environmental challenges.
What we know: 5G emits high-frequency (millimeter waves) between 30Ghz and 300Ghz. That requires antennas to be in close proximity. Due to the lack of far-reaching signals, 5G will not replace 4G LTE completely. 5G, for now at least, will serve as a complementary tool to its predecessor. This means more radiation in the air and atmosphere.
Big picture: 5G requires exponentially more towers and more energy than 4G in order to function properly. This means more radiation, that we don’t understand the long-term consequences of, and more gas and oil consumption, which we do understand the consequences of.
Why it matters: Determining whether 5g is bad for the environment boils down to four words: personal health + environmental impact. Research varies widely on the subject from A-Okay to Doomsday.
Some experts point out how 5G EMF radiation is non-iodizing, meaning it does not carry enough energy to iodize atoms or molecules. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer recently stated there is still a potential risk to humans for this kind of exposure.
While it is uncertain how severely 5G radiation impacts health, we know it has an effect. Just look up the About>Legal>RF Exposure disclaimer on your iPhone. Plus, we know many natural resources are needed to power this close-proximity network. We should be hesitant to make our homes, businesses and cities ‘smart’ at the cost of environmentally-invasive infrastructure.
If you are concerned about 5G exposure, consider the following steps:
- Protect yourself by limiting exposure to 5G-enabled devices when possible.
- Sign a petition to delay the deployment of the 5G wireless network until institutions understand and enact regulations in accordance with the potential health hazards and environmental impact (link at the bottom of the article)
Dig deeper → 7 min
I had the chance to sit down 1on1 with TemperPack co-CEO Brian Powers. In our conversation, we talked social entrepreneurship, venture capital and the future of sustainability. Last month, the sustainable packaging start-up closed a $22.5 million Series B, led by billionaire Steve Case's Revolution Growth, bringing its total funding to $40 million.
The story TemperPack was founded in 2015 as a partnership between two friends from Maryland and a third colleague from school, the company was born out of a desire to reduce the amount of unsustainable packaging that correlated with the growing world of e-commerce delivery.
The products TemperPack launched ClimaCell© in 2018. ClimaCell© is a bio-foam material made primarily from plant starch in our proprietary formula. They also produce JootBox©, which is a 100% recycled joot fiber that is recycled from used burlap sacks.
Check out the full interview here.