GO GREEN WITH YOUR FIRM
GO GREEN WITH YOUR FIRM
2005-04-22 at 11:13:00 am #9051Go green with your firm
First begun in 1970 at a time when activism dominated the
political landscape, Earth Day has become just a whisper of the original
outpouring of participation.
That said, the April 22 event does continue
to remind people to be more conscious of our environment at home and at
Businesses can do a great deal that will not only reduce any
negative impact on the natural surroundings, but also save money in the process.
The familiar recycling logo actually suggests three strategies:
Reduce, reuse and recycle.
Begin by reducing. One area that any business
can cut is its use of electricity.
One significant way is by converting
incandescent bulbs to fluorescent ones. Once large and unattractive, these
compact bulbs not only put out an equivalent amount of light, but also
significantly reduce electricity usage. Though the bulbs cost more, they last
far longer than conventional ones.
Reduce usage of both laser toner and paper. Start by setting the
printer on the “economy setting,” which uses less toner. Also be sure to send
the company’s used toner cartridges back to the manufacturer, which will usually
pay for the shipping. That reduces the amount of plastic in the landfill. Many
companies also purchase refilled cartridges at a lower cost. Make sure they are
of high quality.
According to Diane Marshall, one of the coordinators of
March’s Green Living and Energy Expo in Tavernier, there are companies that will
even pay rebates for returned laser or inkjet cartridges. She suggested doing a
Web search on “recycling cartridges.”
It’s also very easy to set
computers to power down when they aren’t in use for selected periods of time.
Activate the power-down settings on all the computers in the office. To do so,
open the control panel on PCs running Windows and find the “power options”
Marshall also recommends installing ceiling fans that will cut air
conditioning usage. One such fan, made by Hampton Bay, features a fluorescent
light and uses less power than conventional fans. It’s not expensive and is a
big money saver.
It’s not uncommon to see people wearing sweaters in many
public buildings in the Keys because the air conditioning is set too low.
Turning up the thermostat to a comfortable setting will save energy and
As gasoline prices continue to skyrocket, it’s critical to help
all employees find less expensive and more energy-efficient ways of getting to
work. These include driving energy-efficient vehicles such as new hybrid
vehicles or carpooling, and even riding a bicycle to work.
part of the recycling logo encourages everyone to reuse. Start by using less
paper. Instead of printing out many drafts, edit materials on screen. If people
are printing items for internal use only, use previously printed pages on their
reverse side. These pass through the printer with no problem and reduce paper
Save cardboard boxes items arrive in and use them for future
shipments. The same goes for packing materials. Those Styrofoam packing peanuts
can harm the environment so reuse them again and again. If the company doesn’t
make many shipments, local shippers such as the UPS Stores are happy to have
packing materials for the boxes they pack. Be sure to call before taking them to
one of these firms.
Finally, it’s as important as ever to
Now that recycled paper has improved in quality so much, any
business can purchase paper stock that has at least some percentage of recycled
paper. Generally it costs no more and is of high quality. Purchasing envelopes,
letter head and even business cards on recycled paper helps our environment by
reducing the amount of waste in landfills and the number of trees needed to make
Finally, recycle bottles, newspapers and cardboard that can’t
be reused. Call the local waste franchisee to arrange for regular
These strategies will not only help an already severely stressed
environment but carry the distinct advantage of saving money, something all