Running a Green Business
Here are just 10 easy-to-implement ideas for running a green business, provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's Greening Operations guides. You can put these ideas into practice right now to make your office a more environmentally friendly place.
1. Turn off equipment when it's not being used. This can reduce the energy used by 25 per cent. Turning off computers at the end of the day can save an additional 50 per cent.
2. Encourage communications by email, and read email messages onscreen to determine whether it's necessary to print them. If it's not, don't!
3. Reduce fax-related paper waste by using a fax-modem and by using a fax cover sheet only when necessary. Fax-modems allow documents to be sent directly from a computer, without requiring a printed hard copy.
4. Produce double-sided documents whenever possible.
5. Do not leave taps dripping; always close them tightly after use. One drop wasted per second wastes 10,000 litres per year.
6. Install displacement toilet dams in toilet reservoirs. Placing one or two plastic containers filled with stones (not bricks) in the toilet's reservoir will displace about four litres of water per flush – a huge reduction of water use over the course of a year.
7. Find a supply of paper with maximum available recycled content.
8. Choose suppliers that take back packaging for reuse.
9. Instigate an ongoing search for greener products and services in the local community. The further your supplies or service providers have to travel, the more energy they use.
10. Before deciding to purchase new office furniture, see if your existing office furniture can be refurbished. It's less expensive than buying new and better for the environment.
Environmentally friendly actions don't have to be large to have an impact. Consistently reducing the amount of energy, water, and paper our businesses use can make a huge difference, both to the environment and to our pocketbooks. How much paper would you save over the course of a year, for instance, if you always ran double-sided copies? A small thing - but a big result!