One of the hottest topics today is going green. No matter what your take is on global warming, the continued use of unsustainable resources is concerning. Going greener doesn’t have to mean a lot of changes, just a few simple steps.
Green Environment at Work
Greening your workplace is easier than you think. Start by switching to post-consumer (PCW) paper, paper products, and packaging. Beware of misleading symbols though. There are no regulations on who puts that familiar recycling logo on products, so read the fine print. Only PCW products guarantee the product is truly recycled.
Cutting down on humidity inside the office affects your energy usage. If you live in a high humidity area, the air conditioner needs help. Install a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air and keep computers and other electronics working well. Plus, moisture in the air causes bacteria levels to increase and can lead to breathing problems. Get the air ducts professionally serviced. Cleaning the ducts sanitizes the air and saves you money by making the air conditioner run more efficiently.
Compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED lights cost more but last longer. Replacing standard bulbs with CFL or LED saves money, up to $200 over the life of the bulb. And these types of bulbs use far less energy than standard bulbs.
Buy Energy Star labeled appliances for the break room. That yellow sticker guarantees the appliance is energy-efficient. Many states offer free energy audits and some even help pay for changes that make the office more efficient. Also, look at alternative energy sources like wind or solar power for your office.
Encourage Green Transportation
Not every workplace is easily accessible to public transportation but if relocation is in the future, check neighborhoods near bus and train depots. Encourage employees to carpool, decreasing car emissions for the daily trip to and from work. Even better, promote bicycling for employees who live near their workplace.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Did you know Americans produce more garbage than anyone else in the world? But recycling doesn’t only refer to trash. When furnishing your office, try used or vintage furniture. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity collect used lumber, doors, windows, appliances, and furniture from landfills and refurbishes and resells them.
Construction materials come in green varieties, too. Recycled plastic now replaces steel and concrete for foundation pilings. New buildings include super-insulated, airtight shells and triple-paned windows to cut energy consumption as much as 80 percent over standard construction methods.
Support Other Green Business
Green financing focuses on using businesses emphasizing sustainable products, funding arts and education, and supporting the local ecology. Monetary profit is important, but companies practicing green financing also support projects that improve the community. Today’s consumers look for businesses that use or sell green certified products. Green is on everyone’s mind and many consumers seem ready to pay higher prices for goods and services if the company is environmentally friendly. Going green helps your business stand out from the competition and using high-efficiency equipment adds to your bottom line. And going green saves our planet’s valuable resources.