Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Green from top to bottom

Going green is big business.

The good news is you don't have to do it all at once. The readers of this blog are at vastly different points in their move to green. Some are almost all the way there, some are just beginning and some are still deciding whether it's the right direction for their company.

That's all good, because every green step is good. If you're still in the process of going green at work, or are thinking about taking those first few steps, here are some ideas for little things that add up to a lot. (If you think your business is all the way there, check the list anyhow. You may find a thing or two you missed along the way!)

Saving resources:

  • Green lighting/low energy-use bulbs
  • Timers and motion detectors to turn off unneeded lights
  • Energy-star high-efficiency appliances, computers and office equipment
  • Just-in-time manufacturing to reduce warehouse space needs
  • Manufacturing process reviews and improvements
  • Telecommuting or remote offices for employees
  • Hybrid or solar powered cars and trucks in your fleet
  • Using delivery route mapping to reduce on-the-road time
  • Solar or other alternative power sources
  • Installing drip irrigation instead of water-wasting sprinklers
  • Offering filtered water instead of bottled water at meetings and in lunchrooms

Recycling and reducing waste streams

  • Buying and using materials with high post-consumer content
  • Recycling paper from copiers and printers
  • Reusable plates, silverware and cups in lunchrooms and cafeterias
  • Recycling drop off bins throughout the facility
  • Going paperless for project routing, memos and meetings
  • Repurposing desks, chairs and other office furniture rather than buying new
  • Refilling ink cartridges
  • Donating extra (non-toxic) materials, supplies and paper goods to area schools and children's museums
  • (For retail stores and distributors) Donating out-of-season/unsold clothing, bedding, furniture, household goods and personal care items to shelters, transitional housing facilities and low income housing projects
  • Buying recyclable office supplies and other consumables

Feeding the earth

  • Replacing corporate lawns with trees, low-water xeriscaping, food producing plants and native growth plants.
  • Offering plants, seeds, garden tools and other green items as incentives, promotional giveaways and corporate logo items
  • Serving organic or natural foods and vegetarian choices in lunchrooms and at special functions

More to come......