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 user 2008-02-15 at 1:26:00 pm Views: 36
  • #20870

    Local businessman spreading the gospel of going green
    Green is the new black in business.
    by high energy costs, catapulted by public awareness and inspired by
    reducing the bottom line, going green is taking the business world by
    storm — pollution free, of course.Companies across the country are
    incorporating this socially conscious, environmentally friendly concept
    into their everyday practices — and it’s no different here.

    Padgett, owner of Cartridge City at 1630 S. Church St. in Murfreesboro,
    is hoping to bring this national phenomenon to the forefront of other
    local business owners’ minds.Starting this month, Padgett plans to
    visit area businesses, teaching them “mainly the whole idea of how
    becoming green can help their business and their standing in the
    community.”Padgett says his business fits into the green model. The
    nearly 2-year-old store refills ink cartridges and sells
    re-manufactured toner cartridges.”We are being a part of the solution,”
    he said. “Our business is about reusing what’s out there. We’re
    certainly not the only company that does it.”

    He said reusing
    ink cartridges reduces the amount of waste in landfills. The
    Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about four pounds of
    plastic, metal and chemicals are added to a landfill from each laser
    toner cartridge that is thrown away.Among other green practices,
    Padgett’s business uses fluorescent light bulbs, prints on both sides
    of the paper and turns the lights off at nigh.During his visits, he
    plans to show business owners how they can be a green business with
    things as simple as recycled office supplies and equipment. If a
    company has unused equipment, like a computer, Padgett said he will
    suggest donating, selling or recycling it.

    He will also
    encourage businesses to create a drop-off station for recycling. For
    owners unable to create such a station, Padgett plans to pick up those
    items and have a drop site at Cartridge City.”There’s not going to be
    any cost,” Padgett said. “It’s just an opportunity for me to talk with
    then and just how I want to try to give back to the community.”"It
    basically means that you are trying to eliminate or lighten the impact
    on the planet and people,” said Dodd Galbreath, executive director of
    the Institute for Sustainable Practice at Lipscomb University in
    Nashville. The institute teaches students how to integrate ecological,
    social and economic issues into various fields.Lori Munkeboe, director
    of the office of environmental assistance at the Tennessee Department
    of Environment and Conservation, adds that is looking at “where you can
    make some environmental choices that fit into your company and what it
    does. I definitely think it’s going to be different for each business.”

    Experts say customers like to support businesses that practice green.
    are also driving this trend with daily purchases/votes for better
    products,” Galbreath said. “They have begun to think of ways to use
    their purchasing power to make a difference and a statement.”But, green
    products can cost as much as four times as their counterparts.”People
    are willing to pay a little bit more because you are doing something
    that is really responsible,” Munkeboe said. “Your customers like it
    when you practice environmental stewardship.”Businesses across all
    sectors have begun being more environmentally conscious. Last week,
    Hewlett-Packard introduced two energy-efficient business desktops.Last
    May, Nissan in Smyrna started conducting trial runs of using forklifts
    powered by hydrogen fuel cells as opposed to lead-acid batteries.And,
    BMW became the world’s first automotive maker to use recycled methane
    gas as energy for its paint shop.”CEOs of the largest corporations have
    noticed that, as their markets reach the far ends of the globe, they
    can no longer grow revenue and increase the price of their stock just
    in quantity of their sales,” Galbreath said. “They have realized that
    they must grow quality or they will not be able to grow as fast and
    stay competitive.”

    Padgett thinks paper is the biggest source of waste.
    businesses use twice as much paper as they need to,” he said. “How many
    people print on both sides of the paper? Right there you can cut the
    amount of paper use in half.”Munkeboe suggests recycling cell phones
    and purchasing energy efficient equipment like low-flow commodes. Many
    products can be purchased at stores like Lowe’s and Home
    Depot.Sometimes companies can make money by recycling equipment, she
    said. “Energy savings measures are some of the easiest ‘paybacks’ that
    businesses benefit from, both quickly and economically.”While
    fluorescent light bulbs last five to seven years, they can cost three
    to four times more than the traditional light bulb.”New solutions
    nearly always cost more than the high impact alternative,” Galbreath
    said. “They (businesses) are able to make harmful products cheaper only
    because no one has made them factor in what it really costs society to
    get rid of the product or the minority of people it hurts.”But, it’s a
    smart move, says Munkeboe. And, it’s easy.”If it were difficult,”
    Munkeboe said, “people wouldn’t do it.”