The term “going green” is defined as utilizing knowledge and practices that lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions, which result in the protection of the environment and the sustainability of natural resources. A green company will reap benefits that are reflected not only in the community environment but also company’s budget. Although going green may appear to be a daunting goal, there many ways a company can institute green initiatives in a business setting even on a very tight budget.
1) Use Compact-Fluorescent (CFL) or LED lights.
Instituting the use of energy efficient lighting reduces both a company’s carbon footprint as well as a company’s monthly power bill. On average, an incandescent bulb may last around 1000 hours, while a fluorescent (CFL) bulb producing the same amount of light may last around 8,000 hours, and an equivalent LED bulb may last around 25,000 hours, reducing the need for frequent bulb replacement.
2) Get an energy audit and make simple changes around office.
A business can hire a specialized green company service to perform an energy audit on their office. This audit will access the products, protocols, and practices used within an office setting and suggest upgrades and additions that will reduce the use of energy.
3) Reduce the use of paper by going digital and using post-consumer waste (PCW) paper, paper products, and packaging.
Purchasing paper products made from post-consumer waste (recycled materials) reduces the amount of energy and trees required to produce common office items such as copy paper, toilet paper, and paper cups. Small changes such as sending emails instead of printed memos and storing documents in a digital format will reduce the amount paper used.
Most areas have community recycling programs that work in conjunction with businesses. In addition to paper, aluminum and glass can also be recycled. Many recycling companies provide their own recycling bins for a small fee. By placing these bins in common areas, employees are reminded to recycle products instead of tossing them in the trash can. In addition, items such as batteries and printer cartridges can also be recycled, most times at no additional cost to the company.
5) Provide a green working environment.
Little changes in the workplace can make big differences. Providing reusable dishes, silverware, coffee mugs and glasses employees to use at work reduces both the cost of purchasing supplies and the waste that results from disposable products. When scheduling lunch meetings or other events, opt to buy organic and local food for parties. This boosts the local economy and offers employees and clients healthy alternatives to processed food. Providing filtered water stations will encourage hydration while eliminating the waste associated with bottled water. Choosing eco-friendly cleaning solutions reduces the amount chemicals that are potentially toxic to both the employees in the workplace and the community at large.
Once a company has opted to go green, it will find that there are many other ways in which changes can be instituted to reach its goal of sustainability. This is just scratching the surface.