Once you realize that it is possible to do good for the world while doing business, you start to think about the scalability of that good. Or the flip side of that thought, that when thinking about the impact of an organization, you think about how to scale up that impact using business practices.
Both these thoughts came to my mind as I listened to a recent Planet Money podcast, one that explains the business of recycling.
Those of us who think about recycling tend to think about it as a social good. We dutifully put the recyclable items into a separate “trash” can. We fret when that second can isn’t there.
Meanwhile, we don’t often think about the business underlying that can. Thanks to Planet Money, a bit of that world is explained, with the realities of recycling plastic bags, newspapers, and milk cartons exposed as just another form of business.
In the end, the fiscal bottom line decides what is recycling, and what is trash.