Tag Archive | "green business"

Make Your Office More Eco-Friendly

10 Things to Ditch to Make Your Office More Eco-Friendly

This was written by Maria Samuels, a designer at In Style Modern Furniture.

The office is meant to be a safe place where people can focus on their work and increase their productivity. Such is the reason for strict adherence to safety measures and ways to make it a work-efficient place. There is always the misconception that workplaces with productions lines such as factories and packaging are the only ones in need of safety standards. The average office may not have the heavy machinery of the manufacturing section, but it only means that there are so many things that office workers take for granted. These seemingly-insignificant things can actually be hazardous not only to health but to the environment in the long run. Below is a checklist for you to start on, to see if your workplace is safe not just for people but for the whole planet as well. After all, even small things can have a serious impact on the planet and on all living things if left unaddressed.

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flickr/Don fulano

1. CRT computer monitors – Cathode ray tube desktop monitors use a lot more power than liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors. It also has more parts and components made of hazardous substances such as lead and mercury. LCD monitors are 66% energy-efficient, generates less heat, takes up less space and has low-intensity lighting that is easy on the eyes.

2. Old freon-based refrigerators and air conditioners – Aside from freon being phased out and banned in the manufacture of new refrigerators, emission of CFCs (chlorofluocarbons) contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. You may think that, by using an old refrigerator your office, you are saving money, but the long-term effects are critical and can cause dire consequences for your health and the environment. New refrigerators use tetrafluoroethane, a less harmful ingredient than freon, and are designed to use less energy than their old counterparts.

3. Aerosol sprays – the use of CFCs in aerosol spray may have been phased out, but hydrocarbons in spray cans are still an environmental and health hazard, as these may not damage the ozone layer but still contributes to air pollution. You can replace them with refillable spray bottles made from 25% recyclable plastic.

4. Incandescent light bulbs – It is a proven fact that compact fluorescent lamps and LED-based lighting consume significantly less electricity than traditional incandescents. CFLs and LED lights may cost more, but you don’t just save energy and money, you lessen the environmental impact that energy consumption causes. A 6W LED lamp can give as much light as a 60W incandescent without the energy expense.

5. Disposable styrofoam cups – The polystyrene material in the disposable cups we use in the office water cooler may be easy to recycle, but it presents both health and environmental hazards as it can release hydrocarbons, which contributes to air pollution. Encourage office staff to bring their own drinking mugs to work and create group awareness about how seemingly small actions can produce ecological concerns.

6. Non-recyclable printer ink and toner cartridges – These items tend to contribute massively to landfill waste, not to mention that manufacturing them releases greenhouse gases. Petroleum-based printer products are also toxic. Use refillable cartridges and vegetable oil-based printer ink.

7. Toxic cleaning products – Items like disinfectants and antiseptics may be useful in eliminating germs and disease in the office, but these cleaning products are also harmful to you and the environment. Their residues can be ingested or inhaled, cause skin irritation and poisoning, and when washed down the drain into the town sewage system, can easily pollute the water and soil. Replace them with plant-based and water-based cleaning agents.

8. Unhealthy office food items – Vending machines and the office pantry are often filled with junk food, candies and other items contained in non-biodegradable wrappers and packaging. Not only is it a source of excessive amounts of trash and is cause for health concerns, consumption of junk food also puts a strain on Mother Earth. Junk food manufacturers acquire cheap bulk ingredients from factory farming industries that use huge amounts of pesticides, fertilizers and petroleum, both for making plastic wrappers and fuel used for shipping these items. Do a petition and ask your office managers to have healthy options during meetings, office parties and potlucks. Order more organic food and, if possible, vegetarian items at least twice a week. Not only are you helping officemates to be healthy, you’ll be contributing less to the human carbon footprint.

9. Plastic-based office supplies – Instead of using plastic folders, binders, envelopes, mousepads, and table mats, why not opt for recycled paper products? Plastic office items tend to mostly end up in the trash bin and are difficult to recycle. Manufacturing plastic items also uses massive amounts of petroleum-based materials and can contribute to pollution during factory production and excessive energy consumption when shipping.

10.Bottled water – Instead of keeping bottled water in the office pantry or having them on vending machines, install a water dispenser and ask everyone to bring their own drinking mugs. Not only do you save money, you also prevent accumulation of office trash due to empty plastic bottles. Less plastic bottles to manufacture, the better for the environment.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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Reduce Your Company’s Carbon Footprint

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Company’s Carbon Footprint

This was written by Tom Clark writing on behalf of  http://www.gomobilize.co.uk/.

It is becoming common knowledge that companies that are aware of what makes a ‘sustainable business’ are becoming more popular with existing customers as well as prospective customers. This awareness, although positive, forward-thinking and admirable, is often not executed with any conviction and is more an encouraging label than a reality.

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The key to making this label a reality is finding ways to implement techniques that will reduce the company’s carbon footprint whilst not negatively affecting the business.  With all this in mind I introduce 6 ways to reduce your company’s carbon footprint and make it a more sustainable business.

What is Your Current Carbon Consumption?

You can hire a professional to calculate your emissions or get the manager to make this conscious effort over the course of one day. Once you have an idea about your carbon consumption you can begin to move forwards. By understanding the present number of greenhouse gases generated you can make a progressive strategy that will work for you.

Simple Steps towards Reducing the Carbon Footprint

There are many simple steps you can take towards this long-term goal, including closing windows, knowing when to use the central heating, and using fluorescent light bulbs instead of the incandescent ones. Using these energy saving bulbs also saves you money, could there be any more incentive to use them?

Turning off Electrical Devices

If you can make it a habit to turn off devices when you are not using them it will have a big impact over time. Even better, inspire your workmates to do the same and the behavior manifests until it is a habit and becomes normal.  Try turning off your monitor when you go to lunch instead of letting it eventually go onto a screensaver. At the end of the day make sure to turn switches off at the wall for your various devices such as the kettle, microwave and of course switch all the lights out. Quite often people have a misconception about standby mode; this still uses energy and it is not a great deal of effort to press switches and unplug at the wall instead. If you monitor the difference on your electricity bill on a month-on-month basis you may get a surprise once you have implemented this simple technique.

Fresh Fruit and Veg

One of the harder techniques to implement is the idea of promoting healthy eating in the office and the presence of fresh fruit and vegetables. It is becoming increasingly popular in offices with many companies even using it as a selling point in recruitment situations. The benefits here are the increased natural energy levels, resulting in higher natural output and less use of the kettle!

Working from Home

It can be a hard one for bosses to come to terms with, but allowing your employees to work at home when necessary is a great way to reduce emissions. With the increasingly wide and efficient variety of ways for a team to communicate remotely, it is worth considering. It is also popular with the employees and can replace conventional monthly special days such as casual dress code day.

Track Your Progress

It is a process just like making your lifestyle healthier, it has to be checked up on until lit is a habit, the way in which you function out of choice. By monitoring and reporting to the team on a monthly basis, you will get an idea of how well you are doing and your team will feel motivated by the results. Consider incentivising the process with an extra work at home day awarded to the most actively engaged team member. However, remember that the process has to work for you in the long run and eventually passively work for the business.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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Top Five Eco-Friendly Companies

The Top Five Eco-Friendly Companies

This guest post is by Robert Dean of TheShreddingAlliance.co.uk.

As concern about climate change and the consumption of fossil fuels continues to grow, many companies are responding with practices to reduce energy consumption and pollution. There are five that stand out as leaders in this fashion; these companies are models of forward thinking and innovation that both increase profitability and preserve the environment.

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1. The Munich Reinsurance Group

The Munich Reinsurance Group has been a world leader in addressing climate change for many years. For example, they provide products that protect against the effects of climate change such as crop insurance to for farmers and they recycle up to as much as 75% of its paper. Munich RE is also looking to cover solar cells and wind farms with their products. They have led the way in research on climate change for the past forty years and Munich RE has set a goal that their entire business operations will be carbon neutral by 2015. This will definitely add to their impressive history of being an eco-friendly business.

2. IBM

IBM also has a strong track record when it comes to making their operations greener. Recognizing that IT infrastructure can be a huge energy consumer, IBM has developed more efficient hardware systems and software which together can reduce energy consumption. This both improves the bottom line by reducing energy costs and preserves the environment. Their most impressive statistic is that of their cut in electricity consumption of 5.1 billion kilowatt hours between 1990 and 2000, which is enough to power a whole town.

3.IKEA

IKEA is another innovator in eco-friendly business practices. As a furniture manufacturer, timber and cotton textiles are important raw materials for their products. IKEA has strict standards for the sources of timber and cotton, and they will only purchase from suppliers that harvest these resources in a sustainable way. In addition, IKEA has led the way in reducing carbon emissions in its stores including being the first major retailer to switch off incandescent lights.

4. BT

British Telecom has made huge strides in sustainability by requiring its suppliers to meet high environmental standards. This is part of their plan to cut their carbon emissions by a massive 80% by 2020. Basically, BT has told its suppliers that they must adopt these high standards or BT will look elsewhere for its supplies. By adapting this purchasing policy, BT has influenced many companies all over the world to become more sustainable. BT is also working on reducing its own carbon footprint as well.

5. Hewlett Packard

Hewlett Packard is also a leader in sustainable business practices. They have reduced the energy consumption of their products, became the first hi-tech company to account for greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chain and reduced their own carbon footprint. They are also constantly looking to recycle and switch their own products for more energy efficient models.

These five eco-friendly companies demonstrate that sustainable business practices can be implemented that both improve profitability and help the environment. As climate change continues to be a serious issue, demand will grow for energy efficient products, and businesses that can operate efficiently and sustainably will be rewarded.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

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Market Your Business With Custom Logo Tote Bags

Marketing your business in this economy can be a challenge for smaller and medium sized businesses. Where do you spend the marketing budget? How do you get the best price? Recently we learned about Blue Soda Promo and their inexpensive Tote Bags. And this is a great way to market effectively and for low cost. It also ensures your marketing efforts are eco-friendly.

It seems everyone is offering reusable shopping bags recently. They can be found at places that don't typically scream they are protecting the planet, like gas stations and auto insurance companies. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are seeing the potential for offering customized logo tote bags to their clients and customers.

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Plastic bag flying away.

Tote bags, or reusable shopping bags, are a great way to market a business by offering an option to clients to help avoid using plastic grocery bags. This is a wonderful way to help your clients or customers become more eco-friendly when they shop. 

Facts About Plastic Bags:
  • In the United States alone, around 100 billion plastic bags are used every year.
  • Even though recyclable, only about 3% actually are recycled.
  • Plastic debris was found in almost 75% of dead sea turtles in 2002.

By using bags that are reusable we can help minimize our impact on the Earth by avoiding the addition of more plastic to our landfills and prevent the release of more harmful greenhouse gasses. They help the environment by eliminating extra waste and oil needed to produce them every year. In addition to helping the environment reusable bags make sense for consumers.

Benefits of Reusable Bags

Reusable shopping bags are known to carry as much as twice the amount as the typical plastic bag and they are easier on the hands. The soft fabric handles seen most often on these types of tote bags make them easier to carry. Whether held in your hand or over your shoulder, these bags are eco-friendly and comfortable. Many are even washable and can last for years. Their uses don't have to be kept to the grocery store. Reusable bags are great for a trip to the park or beach. 

Blue Soda Promo Offers Quality Tote Bags Cheaply

Blue Soda Promo Logo

If your business is looking for a company that provides quality tote bags for less money, you need to look at Blue Soda Promo. Blue Soda Promo offers promotional tote bags for businesses. By printing your logo or tagline on a reusable bag you are giving your customers and clients a way to advertise for you. They are walking promotional banners.

Enhance your brand awareness with a promotional tote bag. Whether for your next tradeshow or convention, these bags are handy to have around to give away all year round. Blue Soda Promo offers many types of reusable grocery bags, from canvas to non woven polypropylene bags. And many of their bags are less than $2. We even found a few for under a dollar!

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