An alternative holiday wish list from the Erb Institute

by Rick Bunch


Rick Bunch


15 Wishes for a Sustainable Future: What the Erb Institute Wants for the Holidays:


1.     Insist that companies create real social and environmental benefits in return for the privileges and protections of incorporation.

2.     Implement the kind of broad public works smartgrid project and wind farm investment  that Al Gore recently wrote about in the New York Times

3.     Cap carbon

4.     Green the financial bailout: home borrowers with energy- and transportation-efficient homes should receive better rates because have lower costs and are less likely to default.

5.     Outlaw “vampires”: appliances that suck power even when turned off   

6.     Teach sustainability to every elementary, middle and high school student.

7.     Participate – and promise to reduce emissions – at the next Kyoto

8.     Source at least 20 percent of its food in school lunches from local farmers and suppliers

9.     Provide stronger tax incentives for alternative energy start-ups

10.  Offer tax rebates to taxpayers who install solar panels, buy hybrid cars and choose energy efficient appliances

11.  Place a volt meter in every store that sells TVs, home theaters and other electronics so that customers can know their energy efficiency before they buy

12.  Use public transportation – or better yet, walk

13.  Enact a maximum wage policy so that companies’ top paid executives would earn no more than 15 times the salary of their lowest paid workers

14.  For businesses: appoint a Chief Sustainability Officer

15.  Make Earth Day a national holiday


“Our wish list is optimistic, but it’s also realistic,” said Erb Institute Managing Director Rick Bunch. “For a decade and a half, Erb Institute faculty, students and alumni have not only seen and studied, but also helped create and implement the kinds of changes that businesses are making to support ‘green’ growth. We may not see all of our wishes come true this season, but we look to the next 15 years with the confidence that tremendous progress has been and will continue to be made.”




One Response to An alternative holiday wish list from the Erb Institute

  1. Rich Farkas says:

    I suggest you change the “volt meter” in wish number 11 to an ammeter or even better; a wattmeter. A voltmeter measures the potential of the power line, and not the energy that an appliance consumes. So a voltmeter won’t tell you a thing. But the current that an appliance takes (measured in amps) gives you an indication of how much current it draws. And a wattmeter measures the product of that voltage and the current or the power being dissipated by the device. For appliances like a refrigerator, it makes sense to measure the power when it is running (idle power) and also the power when the compressor comes on (peak power). Those numbers will be quite different.

    It’s just a suggestion.


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