Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tips on How To Save the Environment (Part 8) - YOUR WORK
Most of us spend the better part of our 24-hour day in our workplace. It is also the place where we are most likely confronted with non-environmental friendly items. Taking the initiative and leading the way to a Greener workplace will help enhance the efficiency and the work performance of you and your staff. Your colleagues may just be waiting for you to take the initiative and the first step to start the ball rolling.... GO FOR IT! And here's some quick tips on how to go about it (opt for those applicable to your situation). (Greensleeves)
•Recycling Program: If a recycling program has not already been started at your company, start one yourself (or improve the program already in place). Learn more at Recycling in the Workplace.
•Recycled Material: Encourage the office/purchasing manager to purchase products containing recycled material (paper, plastic, etc.). Learn more at Recycled Plastic Products (U.S. and Canada).
•Materials Exchange: You can find exchange programs at Recycler's World and State-specific Materials Exchange Programs (U.S.)
•Product Design: Better by Design helps in designing environmentally friendly products.
•Green Purchasing: Learn about green purchases through:
◦Responsible Purchasing Network
◦Green Seal of Approval
◦Purchasing environmentally-friendly building products (free software)
◦Environmental Yellow Pages
◦Green Pages Online
•Energy Reduction: Schedule an energy audit through your local energy provider to determine how to reduce energy use. Learn more at Energy Star for Small Business.
•Environmental Policy: Strategic Planning resources for defining your company's environmental policy:
◦Waste Prevention World
◦National Environmental Performance Track (EPA)
◦Other EPA Voluntary Programs
◦Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERI)
◦The Natural Step
◦Cradle to Cradle
◦CERES (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies)
•Green Meetings and Conventions: A growing number of businesses are greening their meetings and conventions. Get started with 10 Easy Tips. Learn more through the EPA and the Green Meeting Industry Council.
•Green Building: Encourage your company to look into building or leasing space in a "green" building. The EPA can provide information through their Business Improvement program.
•Shipping: Whenever possible, choose environmentally-friendly packaging material. If your company uses pallets to ship boxes stabilized with stretch wrap, strapping, or corner boards, look into switching to more environmentally-friendly unitizing systems such as Lock n' Pop (no endorsement intended).
•Junk Mail: Check into ways to reduce business junk mail
•Computers: Buy refurbished computers for less. Also consider donating used computer equipment. If you purchase new equipment, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool and Guide to Greener Electronics can help you make greener choices.
•Zero Waste: EPA: Zero Waste and Zero Waste Alliance provide information on shifting your business toward producing zero waste.
•Reusing Ink Cartridges: Cartridge World will refill your printer cartridges at half retail price.
•Renewable Energy Certificates (REC): If you don't have the ability to switch to renewable energy, consider buying an REC which let's you essentially purchase renewable energy without switching electricity suppliers.
•Paper Use: Use both sides of each piece of paper -- for note taking or printing documents from your computer (at home or work). At work, designate a printer to be stocked with once-used paper for drafts. Where possible, configure computer systems to automatically hold documents in printer queues so that manual release is required to print the document. Create notepads by stapling together once-used paper.
•Office Supplies: Create a used supplies drawer and ask employees to place any unwanted office supplies from work or home in the drawer for reuse.
•Lunch: Pack a Waste-Free Lunch whenever possible.
•Break Room: Ask co-workers to bring their unwanted cups, mugs, plates, cloth napkins, and silverware to work to replace disposable items.
•Green Hotels: Encourage your company to use the Green Hotel Initiative's Best Practices Survey to determine which hotels to book traveling employees or visitors at.
•Environmental Career: Looking for an environmental job? Check out:
◦NRDC Green Jobs
◦Environmental Jobs and Careers
◦Environmental Career Opportunities
◦Green Jobs Ready
◦Business for Social Responsibility
◦Green Dream Jobs
◦GreenBiz.com Job Listings
◦Employment, Career, Volunteer Opportunities
◦WebDirectory Environmental Job Listing Sites