When you start to green your business operations, you are helping to reduce
carbon emissions, preserve forests and biodiversity, and keep our air and water
clean. And you also can help protect your bottom line because environmentally
responsible businesses are efficient businesses. The simple tips listed below
can help any business start going green.
TIPS FOR RECYCLING AND REDUCING WASTE
The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy
paper a year.
- Identify recycling opportunities for, at a minimum, paper, aluminum cans
and plastic bottles.
- Educate employees about recycling and encourage recycling participation;
reward employee efforts through incentives and/or recognition.
- Investigate contracts with municipalities to collect and recycle
high–grade office and corrugated paper.
- Donate old or obsolete equipment computers, cell phones, televisions
- Implement paper-reducing strategies, such as double-sided printing,
re-using paper, and using e-mail instead of sending memos or faxing.
- Using a mug prevents 500 disposable cups, per person, from being thrown
away each year.
TIPS FOR CONSERVING ENERGY IN EXISTING BUILDINGS
Replacing standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light
(CFL) bulbs can save you as much as $40 a year in energy costs by changing out
just one 60-watt incandescent with a 14-watt fluorescent lamp. CFL bulbs last up
to 13 times longer.
- Conduct energy audits to determine current use and identify conservation
- Purchase or replace obsolete equipment and appliances with those
certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR®
- Replace older fluorescent fixtures with newer, low-mercury CFLs.
- Use programmable thermostats to ensure reductions during off hours. Keep
thermostats at 78 degrees or higher in the summer; 72 degrees or lower in
- Reduce hot, outdoor air from entering the building and eliminate the
loss of cooled air with weather stripping and caulking around windows and
- Insulate your water heater's hot water piping, going to the wall or
ceiling pipe; wrap tanks in an insulating blanket if the water heater's
energy factor is less than 59 degrees.
- Lower the thermostat on hot water heaters; 115 degrees is comfortable
for most uses.
- Turn off PCs, monitors, printers and copiers nightly and on weekends. If
unable to switch off the entire computer, turn off the monitor and
- Turn computers, copiers and other office equipment to low-power standby
mode when not in use.
- Use laptop computers and ink jet printers, if available, since they use
90 percent less energy than desktop and laser printers.
TIPS FOR GREEN CLEANING/PURCHASING
Americans generate 1.6 million tons of waste each year from common cleaning
products that contain potentially hazardous ingredients.
TIPS FOR CONSERVING WATER
One drop of water wasted per second wastes nearly 3,000 gallons per year.
- Detect and repair leaks in all systems (external and internal) and
replace¬ faulty irrigation equipment.
- Retrofit old high water-use toilets and other plumbing fixtures with
new, high-efficiency toilets and other plumbing fixtures; install faucet
aerators and high-efficiency shower heads.
- Develop and use preventive maintenance plans that include regular
inspections and the use of green chemicals to maintain clean, safe and
efficient cooling or steam systems.
- Wash company vehicles less often and use a commercial car wash that
- Use native plants in your landscape that require less water than
ornamental varieties and follow other Xeriscape principles,
- Do not install or use ornamental water features unless they recycle the
water. Use signs to indicate that water is recycled and do not operate
during a drought.
TIPS FOR TRANSPORTATION AND TRAVEL
Presently, full-time home business owners and telecommuters save
approximately 4,439 million gallons of gas per year.
- For business travel, consider renting alternative fuel vehicles.
- For company fleets, consider purchasing alternative fuel vehicles.
- For company-owned vehicles, keep maintenance records and meet standards
to reduce fuel consumption, i.e. regularly scheduled tune-ups, maintaining
proper tire pressure and changing oil and filters.
- Encourage and reward carpooling to the office, or biking and walking if
the office is located nearby.
- Choose meeting facilities with energy, water conservation, recycling and
waste minimization programs. In Florida, DEP administers the Florida
Green Lodging Program, a voluntary designation program,
- Distribute meeting materials electronically.
- Minimize travel distance for attendees by holding meetings via
teleconference and videoconference.