Organic. Green. Eco-friendly.
These are the buzzwords in today’s society, words that convey a newly heightened environmental consciousness. Consumers everywhere are beginning to switch to re-usable tote bags and energy-efficient light bulbs, taking small steps to reduce their carbon footprints and protect the environment. The individual is now empowered.
But what about the company?
All too many corporations talk about going “green” but ultimately don’t do much more than throw a few recycling bins in the lunch room and hope for the best. This can seem extremely frustrating to eco-minded associates, not to mention hypocritical to the public as a whole. But before anybody goes pointing the finger, hey. Consider that some businesses may not know how to make a difference or motivate their employees to go green. They’ve plastered the walls with posters of the Earth and quotes about the tips of icebergs, but now what…?
We at Accelerator would like to offer our advice on how to tackle this problem. We hope that our own success story can inform you, inspire you, and maybe make you laugh. Here goes!
8 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Company’s Carbon Footprint:
1.) Climate control. Here at Accelerator we keep the heat set low in the winter and the air conditioner set high in the summer. When possible, we also throw open our windows and doors to let the sunlight in. Doing this greatly reduces our daily energy consumption and allows us to show off the fancy sweaters our aunts knitted us all for Christmas. Change your office climate, change the world’s!
2.) Get some ink. Soy ink, that is. Here at Accelerator we make a point of asking our printers to use soy inks instead of petroleum-based inks. Soybeans are a hardy, renewable crop that remove damaging greenhouse gases from the air, require little or no irrigation, and produce a naturally vibrant, cost-effective ink that smudges less than traditional ink. Why would we want any other kind? To stay consistently environmentally friend we also make sure to print our soy ink on paper with a high post-consumer content, which not only saves our forests but also requires far less energy to produce.
3.) Light’s off. In addition to using energy-efficient light-bulbs (the start-up cost is higher, but these guys will seriously save you money!), we make a habit of turning off all unnecessary lights. If your office has windows and the sun is shining, why turn on all those universally unflattering neon lights? Nobody looks good under those. We like to keep things light and airy to improve the mood and help the Earth. Just note that if you follow our example, make sure there are no skunks outside.
4.) Ugly mugs. There’s no glamour in drinking out of those pale gas-station-style paper cups. Not only do they have to be thrown away (you can’t recycle soggy paper cups), but also they lack convenient handles for when you are trying to carry your coffee and four donuts at the same time. Even worse, they have a huge, sneaky unseen carbon footprint – consider the difference in energy required to produce, pack, ship, and dispose of a ream of foam-paper cups versus the energy required to make and rinse a ceramic mug. That’s why at Accelerator we use mugs. We use real silver wear and reusable containers, too. This saves us money and (for better or for worse) exposes employees’ personalities. Should we be worried when our boss shows up with a “Silently Plotting My Revenge” mug?
5.) Carpool. Don’t just do this when gas is expensive – do this whenever possible. It gives you extra time to prepare for meetings, saves you gas and parking frustrations, and promotes the sharing of cool new musical artists. Plus, you get to be seen with your entourage. We at Accelerator all drive small, fuel-efficient cars, so there’s never any problem rotating who drives. Now we just need matching sunglasses to increase our professional appearance. Or not.
6.) Respect the print media – and the Internet. Everyone in the course of their careers has probably made the shameful mistake of printing out a 100-page nonsense document on the office printer. We know better now. Adopt a policy not only of printing as little as possible, but also of recycling printer components. Purchasing reconditioned toner for printers reduces plastic waste in landfills and saves electricity. Plus, purchasing printer paper with high post-consumer content makes you extra smart. Here at Accelerator we not only do all of these things regularly, but also embrace the power of the Internet when it comes to reading industry news and trade publications. We kind of miss having all the paper airplanes around, but… seriously. Get online and stay informed.
7.) Recycle like you mean it. Seriously. Recycling printer paper is great, but recycling cans, bottles, and junk mail is even better than that. At Accelerator each employee has a cardboard box at his or her desk near the garbage can. We collect them all at the end of the week and voila! They are ready to be taken to the recycling station. It’s a great way to save the environment while feeling a little less guilty about your Diet Coke addiction.
8.) Listen and learn. Finally, just stay alert. We’re always looking for new ways to make our office more eco-friendly. Do you have some ideas for us and our readers? We’d love to hear from you! We strongly encourage the exchange of ideas between friends, family, clients, and the community at large
Well, that’s all for now, folks. We look forward to hearing from you! We sincerely hoped that these suggestions helped and that you will join in Accelerator in becoming a lean, mean, green machine.