It’s not easy being green … or is it? Though Kermit the Frog wasn’t singing about being eco-friendly, his famous tune rings true these days. “Going green” seems overwhelming, especially for companies where terms like “sustainability” and “carbon footprint reduction” are thought to be complicated and expensive.
However, this year, in honor of Earth Day (April 22), we’re going back to the basics – reduce, reuse, and recycle. When you keep these in mind for your organization, it can be easy being green!
Get efficient. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) use 66 to 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving you $45 over the life of the bulb.
Power down. Remind employees to turn off their computers and other electronics before leaving the office for the day. Not only does this reduce energy use, but electronics will perform better. (Tom Pohl wants me to remind that it improves security as well.)
Change it up. Encourage employees to use public transportation or other alternatives to get to work. At Businessolver, for example, we are proud sponsors and supporters of the RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa), which encourages employees to switch four wheels for two and ride their bike to the office. Or, coordinate a carpooling program linked to incentives, like low- or no-cost parking, to motivate employees to give it a try.
Ditch disposables. Did you know the average American office worker uses 500 disposable cups every year? That’s especially scary when you consider that U.S. landfills are overflowing with two million tons of plastic water bottles. Help your workforce do their part by providing employees with reusable water bottles and coffee mugs – put your logo on them, and it’s a perfect way to extend your brand.
Keep trash – kind of. Cut back on packing and shipping waste by repurposing boxes, or ditching the cardboard in favor of reusable solutions, like plastic bins.
Make it easy. Make recycling convenient by setting up multiple receptacles throughout the office. A recycling bin should be placed wherever there is a trash can.
Educate. Although recycling is easy, people often get confused about what is and is not recyclable. Post signs (on recycled paper of course!) that clearly mark which materials can be recycled, including paper, plastic and aluminum.
These are just a few ways to get into the Earth Day spirit to think globally and act locally at once.