February 25, 2008 | General

Editorial: Sustainable Communities, Enterprises

BioCycle February 2008, Vol. 49, No. 2, p. 4
Jerome Goldstein
After almost 30 years, our company, The JG Press, Inc., has discontinued publication of In Business, a bimonthly magazine on sustainable enterprises and communities. Oftentimes, articles from BioCycle would be edited for In Business, and vice versa. Typically, these articles illustrated the entrepreneurial side of composting, organics recycling and renewable energy. The In Business version of the BioCycle articles would allow us to delve more deeply into the sustainable enterprise elements of the companies being written about. In some cases, the articles would feature nonprofit organizations that foster sustainable enterprises and communities by supporting recycling, composting, biofuel and biopower manufacturers and service providers. In addition to describing the technologies and projects, the articles would provide details about job creation, socially responsible investors and financial institutions, and profile the people behind the initiatives.
To carry on the spirit of In Business, we will be starting a new section in BioCycle called “Sustainable Communities and Enterprises.” This new feature will complement BioCycle’s current editorial coverage, and in fact, should be helpful to subscribers who own and operate their own sustainable companies. We anticipate that BioCycle subscribers, which now include former In Business readers, will be inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit that creates and sustains composting, organics recycling and renewable energy businesses and projects.
Articles we are working on for the new feature – scheduled to start this spring – include profiles of a Zero Waste-oriented brewery in California, and a company that turned the concept of ecological engineering to mimic natural processes for wastewater treatment into a thriving company. We’ll also have a report from a recent sustainable agriculture conference, with discussions of turning vacant urban lots into community-supported agriculture operations and the importance of compost for the local sustainability movement.
We have often reflected on the origins of In Business magazine – how we believed in the need for a publication that blends idealism with pragmatic decision-making, so that a business would be around for a long time to come. From the beginning, sustainability was an intricate link between ideals and pragmatics – that it just makes sense to recover resources, to grow and eat healthy food, to develop cars that are energy efficient and more.
This same blend of idealism and practicality has enabled the recycling and composting communities to persevere, and in many cases thrive, over the decades since BioCycle was founded in 1960. The underlying belief that resources in the waste stream should be recovered and reused is probably more relevant today than ever before as we continue to battle – at the local, state and federal government levels and in corporate offices – the disposal and “fossil fuels forever” mentalities. For example, we recently heard that a solid waste company has been pushing the Michigan legislature to rescind the state’s ban on landfilling yard trimmings. Why? The argument is that organics in the landfill produce renewable energy. While that is true on one level, organics in the landfill – or in high temperature thermal conversion plants for MSW – do not recycle resources back into the soils and the marketplace.
We look forward to formally adding coverage of Sustainable Communities and Enterprises in BioCycle, and welcome our former In Business readers as we endeavor together to build the bridge to sustainability.

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