Going Green means using business practices that are environmentally friendly, sustainable, eco-friendly or natural. For businesses this is simply operating in a way that conserves natural resources, eliminates waste and minimizes emission and harmful discharges.
Recycle and reuse paper
- Designate a place to collect newspapers.
- Shred discarded other office papers. For large jobs or sensitive papers enlist the help of a professional shredding company.
- Recycled paper manufacturing generated 74% less air pollution and saves trees, water and energy.
35% 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, paint brushes, industrial strapping, drainpipes, plastic lumber, and flowerpots. Markets are expanding and developing daily.
Recycle glass bottles
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 auto makers. 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. (recycle logo on product labels)
Use and Recycle ink cartridges
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.
Energy and Lighting
- 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 water heater thermostat to 130 degrees to save carbon dioxide emissions.
- Turn down thermostat 3 degrees in winter and 3 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 coast up to 5 %.
- 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.
- 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 and reduce filing space.
On the Commute
- Car pool 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 %.