Meet the Green Team Business Partners

Leave Only Footprints business and community partners are a vital part of the Clean Island initiative. Each of these entities helps spread education and information about the program, including rules and regulations, and even enforcing those rules.

The cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach each provide daily beachcombing services, including the collection of items left on the beaches after sunset. This collection is especially important, as it removes materials dangerous to the sea turtle nesting and hatching process. These items include tents, chairs, toys and trash that are either recycled or discarded. In 2016, the cities collected more than 161 tons of refuse and beach gear.

The Alabama Coastal Foundation plays an integral role in keeping the beaches beautiful through its annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup. Held for 29 years, the ACF organizes hundreds of volunteers who keep the trash out of the splash along Alabama’s coastal waterways. In the past 29 years, more than 750 tons of trash has been removed due to these efforts. The ACF also takes part in sustainability summits, oyster shell recycling programs and green events planning.

With miles of beaches, as well as 6,000 acres of land, the Gulf State Park works to not only maintain the pristine natural environment of the park system, but also to educate visitors and assist the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in their sustainable tourism efforts. In conjunction with the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and the cities, the Gulf State Park hosts an annual e-recycling event. They also offer educational programs at the park’s Nature Center and pier for visitors and residents alike.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism works with vacation rental management companies and other businesses to ensure Leave Only Footprints messaging is distributed to guests before and during their vacation. Visitors will also find information on beach rules and how they can keep the beaches pristine in the two welcome centers.

The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber provides member businesses with the tools and information needed to make environmental changes that are attainable. The chamber supports business profitability that promotes good stewardship of the environment.

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Clean Water Future program encourages people to spread the word, not the pollution. Clean Water Future partners with more than 42 organizations, including cities, attractions and businesses, to provide education on water pollution while challenging people to adopt environmentally sound habits at home, work and play. 

Nine “Going Green” Tips for Businesses

“Going Green” is a phrase thrown out consistently, but what does it practically look like for a business? The following practices will help businesses join the clean island movement by conserving natural resources, eliminating waste and minimizing emission and harmful discharges. 

  • Designate a place to collect newspapers.
  • Shred discarded office papers. For large jobs or sensitive papers, enlist the help of a professional shredding company.
  • Recycled paper manufacturing generates 74% less air pollution and saves trees, water and energy.
  • Send electronic faxes instead of paper ones.
  • Use scanners instead of copiers.
  • Store documents electronically instead of in file cabinets.
  • Get off unwanted catalog mailing lists.
  • Instead of printing multiple copies of documents, give clients company information on CD or through Internet attachments instead of folders. This will also reduce filing space.
Thirty-five percent of the polyester carpet sold in America contains recycled PET (polyethylene teraphthalate) bottles (primarily soft drink bottles). Recycled plastics are made into fiberfill, bottles, shower stalls, recycling bins, scouring pads, paintbrushes, industrial strapping, drainpipes, plastic lumber and flowerpots. Markets are expanding and developing daily.
Every ton of glass recycled saves the equivalent of nine gallons of fuel oil needed to make glass from virgin materials. At least 30% of glass containers on grocery store shelves can be recycled. Container glass can be recycled repeatedly with no loss of quantity or quality.
Every three months, the U.S. throws away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial airline fleet. Recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy than making new aluminum from bauxite ore. We throw away enough iron and steel to continuously supply all of America’s automakers. Metal is melted down and reformed into new products such as cans, automobile parts, siding, appliances and building materials.
  • Instead of using plastic bags, take a reusable cloth bag to the store when purchasing goods.
  • Use recycled plastic garbage can liners and recycled paper towels. (Look for the recycle logo on product labels.)
Replace traditional petroleum-heavy ink with vegetable-based ink options. One-third of businesses nationwide use remanufactured printer cartridges. Recycling your laser and ink jet printer cartridges will reduce the amount of plastic put into landfills. Most cartridges can be recycled up to six times and are guaranteed by most manufacturers to work as well as brand-new ones.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFL), which last 10 times longer and use 66% less energy.
  • Turn off lights and computers when not in use. Unplug what’s not being used.
  • Turn down the water heater thermostat to 130 degrees to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Turn thermostats three degrees down in winter and three degrees up in summer. This can prevent emissions of nearly 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Use preventative maintenance programs for AC units.
  • Change air filters regularly. This can reduce heating costs by up to 5 percent.
  • Close blinds and windows to reduce heat in the summer and heat loss in the winter.
  • Repair leaky toilets and faucets to avoid wasting water.
  • Add low-flow nozzles to kitchen and bathroom faucets.
  • Replace appliances with EnergyStar-labeled appliances, estimated to be 25% more efficient.
  • Serve filtered tap water at meetings instead of plastic bottles, or use disposable cups made from corn.
  • Use washable coffee cups instead of Styrofoam.
  • Carpool with other employees.
  • Combine errands into one trip.
  • Properly inflate car tires. Tires with the correct air pressure can improve gas mileage by up to 3.3%.

Banner Love! Advocate for Leave Only Footprints on your website

Ready to invite others to join the clean island movement? Then show your true color: Green!
Please place one of our banner links on your website or download our flyers and ads to help us spread the word about www.CleanIsland.org and Leave Only Footprints.

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To download, right click on image and choose “Save Image As” from list of options.

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Shred Info

Keep your eye on the City of Gulf Shores calendar for information on the next community E-Cycling Day. The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber sponsors this annual event, providing free electronic recycling and paper shredding.

Cork’d and Shred-It also provide environmentally friendly shred services for commercial businesses on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Recycling Centers

Check out these recycling centers near Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.