Friday, October 24, 2008

Even executive toys are going green

It was bound to happen. Once the paper and the light bulbs and the water bottles started to go green, the extras could not be far behind.

The green business movement has even begun to impact on Executive Toys!

Environmentally savvy execs can now adorn their desk with toys that reflect their commitment to the earth. Here are a couple of the fun toys we found in our search online:

It Must Be Green

This U.K. company offers elegantly crafted executive toys that work on solar power instead of batteries. From tiny turbines to aeroplanes (airplanes) with spinning propellers, each toy would be a great conversation starter for the boss's office, or as a reward for an employee who starts a new green trend or process at work.


The business experts at G.Neil are making the move into green products, as well. Their Desktop Buddy motivational pens are made of biodegradable, corn-based plastic, and make a fun reward for employees or a light addition to an executive desk. The company also carries an extensive collection of recycled paper greeting cards for customers and employees and offer many essential personnel forms in downloadable formats so customers can print only what they need on their own recycled paper -- a process called "Just in Time Printing". The company has plans to add additional green products in the near future.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Creating a green product line in your business

With the rise in environmental awareness among consumers, many companies are scrambling to add a green product line to their selection. Even B2B companies are feeling the pinch, as more companies want to show their green side to business clients.

So how do you start a green line in your business? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Look at what you already have. Are any of your products made from recycled materials? Are any of them fully recyclable? Do you have products made from earth friendly formulas, like natural citrus oil cleaners or herb-filled heat wraps? Green doesn't have to mean 100% organic and recycled...there are different levels. Pretty much whenever your product is safer, cleaner, lower in energy use or could be considered a realistic part of the "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle." triad, you have a potentially green item to promote.

  • What about your services and processes? Many businesses have employed greener practices as part of their services, manufacturing processes or in-house procedures. You may have made the change for economic reasons, but the effect is greener business. Highlight those choices in your advertising, catalogs, web sites or blogs. Mention the fact that your widgets are made in a factory that recycles 80% of its manufacturing waste. Or that the restaurant is using all natural cleaners and biodegradable paper goods. It won't change the composition of the final product, but it does make your goods arguably greener.

  • Look for greener choices to add to existing product lines. If your company sells business paper goods, find some recycled papers to add to the catalog or website.

  • Use a logo or other symbol to mark the green items. Or create an insert or special landing page that features your new and existing green products. You don't have to have a lot of green choices to make a statement, and a difference.

  • Keep up on green trends in your industry. Make a point of researching changes in practices or products in your industry. As you can, add new green items, incorporate greener practices, make green choices in new construction or equipment purchases and let your customers know what you're doing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Restaurants are joining the green trend

Just came across this site in my green wanderings online.

Ready to Go Green?: "

When I founded the Green Restaurant Association 18 years ago, the word green was still just a color and its best-known advocate was Kermit the Frog...

It's a new blog from the Restaurants and Institutions site. It's heartening to see so many industries joining the green movement!

As a former restaurant owner, I know that restaurants are a great addition to the trend. From paper napkins and restroom supplies to cleaning products and food waste procedures, they can make a huge contribution to reducing, reusing and buying recycled.

I will be adding this new blog to our sites to watch list on the side. Thanks, Michael Oshman for your new contribution.

I also found this post on EcoSalon about what makes a restaurant green. Check it out for more tips and ideas.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Really green buildings are far too rare

What is a green building? Here's a quote from Time's Chevy sponsored blog post that sums it up perfectly:

If it meets standards for water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality, it can be certified by a nonprofit called the U.S. Green Building Council. The council created its LEED (which stands for leadership in energy and environmental design) certification in 2000 in response to the demand for standardization in the blooming area of green architecture, says Linda Sorrento, director of education and research partnerships. The platinum LEED rating is given to buildings that can minimize their energy dependence by incorporating green principles from the ground up--say, by picking a location near mass transit and using recycled material in construction. Only 41 office buildings in the U.S. are LEED certified at the platinum level, so chances are you don't work in one. You'll know if you do because your employer will have shared the news discreetly on billboards and in full-page newspaper ads.

So why are there so few truly green buildings?

1)It's nearly impossible to retrofit existing buildings to meet the standards, especially since some of the requirements have to do with location relative to transportation.
2)The information is just not out there to encourage businesses to seek this certification
3)Sky high real estate costs in prime "green" areas mean less companies can afford to build there
4)There is no real financial incentive to build completely green, although that is changing

Even if you can't qualify for Platinum Green status, you can still make your company greener with the right building materials and energy technologies. Watch this blog for specific ideas to move your building towards a greener future.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Casual dress could make your company's botton line greener...and cheaper

The way your employees dress can affect the overhead costs...and the energy your company!

Consider traditional business attire...

Long-sleeved shirts.
Wool trousers.

People who are "dressed for success" are also dressed for air conditioning. Lots of it. Turn that thermostat even a few degrees warmer, and you'll have overheated employees. Keeping the temp lower indoors becomes a necessity.

And then in winter, women's business attire can be too chilly for keeping thermostats down. Skirts, even with pantyhose, are hardly warm. So the temp can not go too low, or employees will be shivering instead of working.

Now consider a workplace without a "dress for success" dress code.

Employees could dress in jeans. T-shirts when it's hot. Sweatshirts and hoodies when it's chilly outside. The thermostat can now be moved to a more economical setting, without affecting employee comfort.

A savings for you, and for the earth. But wait, it doesn't stop there!

  • Employees who can dress causally for work don't need to spend as much on work clothes. That a big help to everyone in these times of super high energy costs. Less financially stressed employees are better performers, according to a recent Florida State University study.
  • Casual clothing tends to involve more cotton, and less synthetics. Synthetic fabric manufacturing can involve major pollutants. Cotton is not only natural, but can even be grown organically.
  • Sneakers are a natural choice to go with casual clothes. They are also a healthier choice than business shoes, especially the heels most women wear with business attire. That could save your company money on health insurance and even reduce sick days!

Going green -- and helping your bottom line -- doesn't always have to mean big things like new equipment or changing your manufacturing process. Sometimes the little things like a pair of jeans and some sneakers can make a big difference, too.