Finding Sustainability comes out on June 1st. It’s a non-fiction book, focusing on how one person reconciled his concerns for the state of the planet with his role as a small business owner, manufacturing plastic packaging. As a former environmental manager I was very interested. I received an advance review ebook copy from the publishers and netgalley, for which I am very grateful.
Finding Sustainability: The Personal and Professional Journey of a Plastic Bag Manufacturer
by Trent A Romer
What if the foundation of your family business were threatened by something out of your control?
What if the livelihood of 70 employees and their families were at stake, as the license to operate your business became called into question?
What if 57 years of family history, grown through generations of hard work and sacrifice, were at risk of being lost?
What if the reasons were actually one with which you fundamentally agreed?
Journey to 8 states, 3 national parks and 3 countries to experience the life-changing education and adventures that led Trent A. Romer to finding sustainability for his plastic bag manufacturing business and himself. The book has won a Gold Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association. [goodreads]
The blurb for Finding Sustainability is exceptionally good. It starts with three questions that are of interest to many business owners. Then it adds a kicker which is about who you are and what you personally believe in.
Most people don’t get a chance to work for an ethical company, and it makes work just that: work. I’ve been lucky to work with several whose ethics I either agreed with, or could work to improve. This book will be an inspiration to others as it has been to me.
‘how to’ plus great narrative
The great thing about it is that it wraps a ‘how to’ book in a great narrative. Mr Romer took a step by step approach to researching the problems and solutions. Then he educated himself to do something about it. Then he describes the process in making changes in his organisation–these are all patterns for use by others.
At first I found his anecdotes (which start each chapter) a little homespun. He describes holidays in the wilderness, travels with his wife and family, the beauty of the world. As the book developed I realised they were illustrations of what Mr Romer wants to keep for future generations. Connecting his own experiences to the evidence of what we are doing to the planet makes a personal document. It becomes something most of us will relate to, even if we don’t run a business.
Mr Romer is not a professional writer, sometimes the phrasing or arrangement might be a little unusual. But it’s a very readable book. And it has led me to a question:
If people like Mr Romer want to sell more sustainable products (not damaging ones), he needs consumers to demand them. How can I do that?
Like Mr Romer, I want future generations to enjoy the planet. As a result of this book, I have an action plan. I will work out what plastic I am using, and how it fits within the categories Mr Romer describes. Then: how am I going to change from non-recyclable to something better?
Since 1st June starts the WildlifeTrusts’ #30DaysWild again, I’m going to do just that throughout June. I’ll blog about what I find.
Buy this book: act on it: save the planet.