In the last few years more people became conscious of the environment and their impact on it. This change has effected the way consumers and businesses operate. Sometimes people believe that going green means spending more money on environmental initiatives. This is not always true. Today, going green is cheaper than ever. Making smart, effective, and sustainable decisions for your business can positively impact the environment and lessen your business’s carbon footprint. Here are a few easy and affordable changes your company can implement to lessen their impact on their environment.
When most consider the environmental impact of printing, they feel the paper wasted in the printing process is the main concern. This is not incorrect, wasting paper on unnecessary prints does have a big impact on the environment, however many do not consider the effect that the energy used and ink used in these machines can have on the environment. Ink in most copiers and printers emit a gas called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can affect both people and the environment negatively. Soy or wax based inks are a good eco-friendly solution for printers. The energy used by most printers and copiers is substantial, and many times is one of the most energy consuming machines in an office. Printing unnecessarily wastes energy in addition to ink and paper. Many companies could reduce their environmental impact greatly if they made a conscious effort to reduce their printing. Sometimes it is not practical to use a digital format for everything, but by keeping many documents accessible in digital form it reduces the need to print copies that may not be needed. When printing is inevitable, try to print on both sides of the paper and consider recycled paper options.
How products are transported from one location to another can have a big impact on the environmental footprint of many companies. With more people purchasing products online, companies are shipping directly to consumers more than ever. One way to make shipping more efficient is to invest in better quality shipping packaging that enable products to be shipped with fewer materials. Rethinking how items are packaged is a large part of that. Fitting items in smaller containers not only uses less materials, it also takes up less space and can weigh less than larger packaging. Which saves money when shipping and decreases the environmental impact when transporting items.
Styrofoam is one of the worst products for the environment, it cannot be recycled and does not decompose easily. Rather than packing items with styrofoam consider using something more sustainable, such as crumpled paper. It is important to try to make the package as recyclable as possible (or even ship in recycled packaging) so shipping materials do not go to waste. Another solution to this is to think about the potential for the package to be reused for another purpose.
Considering the disposal of waste at a company is one of the more obvious ways to cut down its environmental impact. Many items are thrown away that that could have been reused or recycled. The company should begin by assessing the status of the disposal. Figure out what the company throws away daily, and find a way to recycle, reuse, or compost as much of the waste as possible. Encourage people to sort their trash by putting recycling and alternative waste receptacles wherever trash bins are located.
labeling landfill rather than makes people think before they throw out an item, because it reminds the disposer of the item’s final location. Educating the company on proper and more responsible ways to dispose of waste could be vital to changing the waste management. Teaching people what can and cannot be reused and how to properly dispose of items can make a big difference to the company’s footprint.
As a renewable energy company, it is hard for us not to consider the impact energy has on the environment. While switching to renewable energy is the best way to reduce the negative environmental impact caused by more traditional forms of energy, there are small practices companies can adapt to make their company more energy efficient. A great way to reduce energy consumption is to be mindful about how much excess energy the company uses. For example, leaving devices on or plugged when they are not in use wastes energy. Encourage employees to get screen savers, put their computers into hibernation mode, or shut them off when possible. Consider unplugging items such as a copier, computer, television or other devices when they are not in use. There are a few other tricks to reduce energy consumption, such as planting shady trees around the building to keep it cool without having to use fans or air conditioning. Take advantage of the natural light in the building rather than using artificial lighting. When electrical lighting is necessary consider using LED light bulbs that use less energy and last longer than traditional light bulbs. Set timers on lights that will shut themselves off when they do not detect motion in the room.