With the holiday season now in full effect, most of us are thinking about all of the great gifts we plan on giving and receiving. It is the season of giving after all. No matter what you celebrate – Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa – gift-giving is a major part of the season. As a result, we thought that this was an ideal time to consider a gift of a different nature. What steps can you take to gift our world with a cleaner, more sustainable environment?
Here are three super easy ways to go green at your company:
1. Use less paper.
We hope that, by now, this is a no-brainer tip. It is worth listing nonetheless. Most companies have gone paperless. No more printed statements and invoices. Receipts can now be e-mailed. Newsletters receive the same treatment. Going paperless significantly reduces the amount of trees that need to be sacrificed. As Vehicle Protection Structures (VPS) points out, paper and paperboard still make up about 23% of municipal solid waste.
“Reducing the amount of paper your business uses can have a significant environmental impact,” reports their website, “Not to mention, you’ll save the money you would have spent on restocking paper products. Try using electronic files and cloud storage for documents. Digitizing files is a more secure, safe way to store information. When you need to use paper, commit to printing on both sides.”
2. Use reusable bags.
It’s a trend that seems to be taking place everywhere. Stores, shops and markets are beginning to phase out plastic shopping bags. The idea is to minimize the mountains of garbage we all produce on a regular basis. Today, many businesses are requesting their customers to use reusable bags. Do you sell them at your place of business? They will go a long way in preserving our environment.
“Excessive use of plastic and other materials and packaging are having a drastic effect on the environment,” notes Douglas Lober on ReuseTheBag.com, “Many consumers will pay more to receive their goods in a sustainable way and avoid plastic packaging. Reusable bags in grocery stores is a good example of this and gives you the added benefit of a walking advertisement.”
3. Turn off the lights.
It’s such a simple step and yet it seems so hard to do. How often have you walked into your company’s washroom only to see it empty, but fully illuminated? Move towards a motion detector system that only has the lights on when people are present. As well, be sure to simply shut the lights off in areas where no one is working. Of course, turning the lights off at the end of the business day is also important.
“It is also a good idea to rely more on natural light, which has numerous health benefits,” contends VPS, “It boosts the body’s vitamin D production, leads to healthier eyes, helps you sleep, and improves your mood. A little sunlight can make for a happier, healthier, and more productive working environment. If you only have thin slats for windows, think about making architectural changes to your building.”