Applying green practices in everyday business often leads to numerous benefits both internally for your company and for the greater good of the community. Initially, going green helps contribute to a more sustainable planet. By promoting the concept, many businesses also find that they attract more clients or customers. While some implementations may cost money at first, many environmentally friendly practices also provide long-term savings.
Consider the number of items found in the office that might have recyclable value. The Clean Air Council provides some amazing facts concerning the amount of waste and recycling performed in the country annually. Producing a ton of paper from recycled products, for example, spares as many as 17 trees and uses a reported 50 percent less water than when the paper was originally manufactured. Whether needing items for storage or shipping, companies that include Container Exchanger provide all types of reusable and recycled containers, such as wooden shipping crates and pallets. Various recycling centers also take everything from batteries to printer ink cartridges.
Computers handle a wealth of information daily ranging from communication to record keeping. Files stored digitally, or compiled on cloud computing sites, reduce energy and physical space. Cloud computing backs up valuable data, allows file sharing and provides the option of accessing information from any location.
When needing to advertize, advertizing options include e-mail marketing or social websites, which not only eliminate paper and ink waste, but also promote a business more quickly and efficiently than traditional methods. Implementing online payment systems means a faster return on products.
Eco-Friendly Practices in the Office
There are numerous ways of making the workplace more environmentally conscious that save money in the long run.
- Improve air quality and beautify spaces by decorating with live plants.
- Use water bottles and traditional coffee mugs instead of throw away containers.
- Turn computers, printers and other electronic equipment off at the end of the day if possible.
- Instead of screensavers, when not using a computer, consider programming the device to go into stand-by or sleep mode, which saves more energy.
- Turn lights off when leaving a room.
- Adjust the thermostats in rooms that are only used occasionally.
- Keep windows and door closed in areas using air conditioning or heat.
- Reduce your energy bills with air conditioning preventive maintenance, because efficient HVAC systems use less energy. You may also consider installing a more energy efficient air conditioning unit. You can call on the HVAC professionals in southern California, McLay Air Conditioning Services of La Verne, California.
EnergyStar reports that using LED or compact fluorescent lighting saves 75 percent in energy costs, produces 75 percent less heat and may last up to 25 times longer than traditional lighting. Implementing individual lights at work stations also provides more control over lighting and energy use. In offices with windows, take advantage of the natural light during the day and rearrange furniture if necessary.
Consider carpooling to work. Companies might encourage the practice by offering special parking spaces for car pool vehicles. Opt for public transportation when possible. The Union of Concerned Scientists report that vehicles used for transportation on a daily basis remain the largest source of air pollution in the country. Besides depleting the ozone layer, air pollution continues contributing to various heart and lung diseases.
From small businesses to major corporations, more and more are adopting ways of becoming eco-friendly. Many companies are finding innovative ways of committing to sustainability and inspiring others to follow suit. If interested in discovering more ways to “go green” in business, Fast Company provided a look at more than four dozen techniques used by brand name corporations who took the plunge.
[Photo Credit: Green Solutions Mag]