This guest post was written by Ella Davidson of Coupons.org. Coupons is a charitable couponing site that stresses the importance of incorporating frugality into day-to-day living.
Sustainability is gaining national attention.
Affecting many industries, businesses are seeing the advantages to moving into the green approach.
From individual employee responses, to structural and operational alternatives, business can learn to help their finances and the environment through considering changes like these ten ideas.
1. More Natural Light
A cost efficient way to green the workspace is through replacing older light bulbs with more energy efficient halogen or LED bulbs.
While these lights may cost more initially, the energy conserved results in money being saved down the road.
Another great advantage to changing the bulbs is the brighter setting emitted.
If light bulbs are not considered, skylights or additional windows allow for a free natural light source.
2. Transportation Incentives
Transportation incentives can be a fantastic technique for reducing the amount of fuel used by employees in travelling to work.
Whether incentives include reduced bus fares or motivations to purchase hybrids, any removal of the number of cars on the road will result in a greener company.
Furthermore, businesses can lead the way for their employees in the electric vehicle charge by transitioning company cars to hybrids.
3. Employee Attire
In attempting to preserve the environment as completely as possible, something as rudimentary as employee attire can make all the difference.
Consider this; encouraging employees to wear lighter clothing in the summer and warmer clothing in the winter would allow for less energy to be consumed in cooling and heating the building.
With the growing ease and availability of videoconferencing, the workday should come under close scrutiny.
The typical American spends an average of 25.3 minutes commuting to work every day.
Not only is this driving period harmful to the environment, but it also takes valuable time out of the work day.
By incorporating telecommuting into the routine, a significant amount of pollution would be eliminated and financially benefit the company in the process.
5. Living Roofs
Larger cities suffer from a consequence called the “heat island effect,” due to mass infrastructure.
To help counteract this issue, planting a living roof of grasses and plants on the top of buildings will help to eliminate pollutants, provide better insulation, and convert carbon dioxide from the air into oxygen.
The transition to a greener roof will make good use of a largely underdeveloped area.
6. Green Budget
An easily overlooked component of transitioning into the sphere of green businesses is the creation of a budget directed for the purpose of going green.
A great initial step is to have an energy audit inspection conducted.
The audit is priceless since it prioritizes the energy uses according to the most effective opportunities for energy savings.
This efficient method allows for a reduction in energy consumption while improving the employee comfort level.
7. Shutting Down
At the end of the night turning off the lights and shutting down the computers will save a noticeable amount of energy.
While the type of light bulb does affect the amount of energy it costs to turn the lights on and off, the overnight stretch of keeping the lights and computers off far outweighs the alternative.
Simply by eliminating unnecessary usage, your business can conserve a great amount of energy.
8. Clearly marked bins
With the amount of paper materials being shuffled around during the workday, clearly marked recycling receptacles can help to diminish needless waste.
Although this idea has been repeated constantly in the green discussion, the significant benefit for the amount of effort necessary to implement the procedure is noticeable.
Tons of solid waste is discarded every year into landfills.
Businesses have begun to actively engage in a sort of packaging revolution by largely reducing the amount of material going into manufactured items and using recycled, instead of raw, materials. Recently, Wal-Mart has made a push in the packaging arena and has dedicated itself to reducing packaging waste by five percent by 2013 and eliminating all waste by 2025.
The individual waste of one package may not amount to much, but when multiplied by every product the impact is enormous.
10. Online Advertising
Traditional means of advertising are largely getting replaced by online sources.
Websites, blogs, and social networking sites are playing an ever increasing role in expanding the reach to customers.
From updating company information in real time, to advertising information unhindered by geography, the online, green expansion provides a unique chance to help the environment.
Instead of consuming huge amounts of paper and other resources in traditional advertising, online methods allot for a greener opportunity.
Initializing changes, no matter the size of the modification or immediate financial cost, are a step towards a greener company.
Through dedicating time and a budget to sustainability and making the necessary changes, a greener business can be realized.
Border, Mark, and Jeff Chu. “50 Ways to Green Your Business.” Fast Company. N.p., 01 NOV 2007. Web. 2 Feb 2012.
Connors , Jill. “Light Bulb Types.” HGTV Remodels. HGTV, n.d. Web. 2 Feb 2012.
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Li, Lorna. “Four Effective Ways that Your Company Can “Go Green”.” Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit. N.p., 07 APR 2011. Web. 2 Feb 2012.
U.S. Census Bureau, . United States. U.S. Census Bureau . MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION TO WORK BY SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS . 2010. Web. <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_S0802&prodType=table>.
“What is a Green roof?.” Seattle Tilth: Learn, Grow, Eat. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb 2012. <http://seattletilth.org/learn/resources-1/sustainable-landscapes/Green roof>.