Friday, January 11, 2008

7 Steps to a Greener Business

Are you having trouble thinking of ways to make your workplace green? Going green is not only good for the planet it is good for the bottom line. Implementing an environmental plan encompasses conserving water and energy, preventing pollution, and reducing waste. Here are some suggestions that can help you get started.

1. Help save the trees by using treeless or recycled paper and print double sided. Use the blank side of printed paper for drafts. Go paperless and reduce clutter by e-mailing documents instead of printing or faxing them. Use biodegradable cups, plates, utensils, and other products used in the office made from renewable sources such as corn or sugarcane stalk, and potato starch.

2. Switch to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind power, biomass, biogas, geothermal or hydrogen. Replace incandescent bulbs with Energy Star Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Turn off lights and electronics when not in use and install timers and light sensors. Turn off computer monitors in lieu of using screen savers. Make the most of skylights and windows for natural sunlight.

3. Provide incentives to employees who take public transit, carpool, walk, ride their bikes, or who drive hybrid, electric, bio-diesel or fuel-cell vehicles. Purchase alternative fueled vehicles for company cars.

4. Offer locally grown organic vegan options in the cafeteria and for catered business meetings. Raising livestock for food is responsible for water shortage, water pollution, destruction of rainforests, production of methane and nitrous oxide which are greenhouse gasses 21 and 296 times respectively more powerful than carbon dioxide. Producing meat uses ten times the fossil fuels and spews ten times the carbon dioxide than a plant-based diet.

5. Conserve water by installing low-flow toilets and faucet aerators. Fix water leaks. Incorporate water efficient landscaping using native and drought resistant plants.

6. Set up a workplace recycling program to include paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, and plastics.

7. Switch to non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning supplies, soy-based ink toner cartridges, and green office products made from renewable materials.

Adopting sustainable business practices reduce operating costs, increases long term profits, promotes environmental regeneration, and makes for a healthier world for future generations.

© 2008 Elizabeth Kiely, Founder, The Green Recruiter

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