Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

Today is Earth Day 2008. Maybe it’s only me but it seems that this year it’s gotten substantially more press coverage than in Earth Days past. I think it is a great notion to put the spotlight on our eco-behaviors (or lack thereof) and make a positive effort to “do” more about improving our mother earth than just debating about what to do. However large or small our green activities, we should all plan to “do” something to improve our environment for our future. As part of the manufacturing community, we should also improve our company eco-behaviors for a cleaner future. It’s simply the right thing to do.

The 5S approach is just one example. Teach the basics of 3S (Sort, Straighten and Shine) and ask them to be repeated daily to achieve 5S. Explain that this is not a Spring Cleaning program to be completed once a year but a daily way of life. Encourage a daily 5 minute routine for everyone although you certainly can do more. And, focus not so much on cleaning but making a workplace organized to immediately see problems at a glance, any abnormality from standard.

Finally, while it’s great to see pictures and hear stories about the great volunteer work to clean up all the trash found in parks, rivers, and lakes, we should also follow the 5S lessons to look for the source of “dirt” and put in countermeasure to prevent it from getting “dirty” in the first place.

Now that we see we can make an effort on at least one day a year, let’s apply the kaizen approach and not wait until Earth Day 2009 to do anything else. Remember, the better approach to sustaining change is through gradual, small frequent improvements everyday.
Earth Day should be everyday, nothing special, no banners, slogans or t-shirts. Our actions to improve the environment should just be part of our daily way of life.

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