Earth day lands on a Saturday this year and we are officially in the 5 year countdown. In 2020, it will be Earth Day’s 50th year anniversary! There are plenty of ways individuals can reduce, reuse, and recycle on an everyday basis. Walking and biking instead of driving is an air-pollution- free way to travel. It saves environmentally and is one way to protect the air we humans breathe. Public transportation is another option, especially since most companies are environmentally friendly and have chosen modes that don’t pollute.
A second way to save is to keep lights off when not needed as well as turning off appliances and electronic devices like computers. Many offices and retail shops leave computers and other appliances on not realizing it is also a hazard. A device may get too hot and catch fire and that’s something to definitely avoid. Replacing incandescent lighting with fluorescent lighting will also help you save.
One of the most obvious and best ways to cut down on the amount of waste in our world is to know where your paper is going. Starting a recycling program at work is very useful because the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper yearly. Paper is the main focus of recycling because it can very easily be reused rather than ending up in a landfill. Setting up two separate garbage units, one for garbage and one for plastics like most colleges and universities do will do the job.
The examples above can also be utilized in homes and other places, not just work spaces. If there is an outdoor space that requires tending to, using a rake and a dust pan/broom when possible rather than a powered lawn appliance will save on volts. Remembering to set the thermostat when no one is in the office can reduce energy bills unless you installed a programmable thermostat. Lastly, researching and buying recycled supplies is a great contribution. Now, go get into the Earth Day Spirit and be sure to share these tips with co-workers!
Ways for small businesses to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- Get your head in the clouds: Moving your data into the cloud is a great first step to reducing your local energy consumption. The IT room full of servers, and their companion cooling fans, takes up a lot of energy and space. Cloud-based applications are becoming more and more mainstream and small businesses have the most to gain by reducing IT costs that can quickly strain tight start up budgets.
- Giving your team some space: Let your workers have the option of working remotely. You can start with one day a week and increase the number of days a week once you’re comfortable and happy that you’re maintaining productivity. Since you’ve already followed my first piece of advice and moved your IT infrastructure to the cloud, your team can access all of the documents and other resources they need to work efficiently away from the office. Before you implement this, you’ll want to be confident that that your data and communications are encrypted so you’re not exposing your business, or your customer’s info.
- Make it a team effort: Ask your employees for ideas on how your business can be greener and offer incentives for ideas that are successfully implemented. Your team will appreciate the opportunity to come up with their own concepts and you can also give them authority to implement approved initiatives to make them work for your company. You’ll be able to give recognition to specific employees, increase teamwork and create cost savings all while helping the environment.
Earth Day – April 22, 2016 / Friday