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From Trash to Cash: Your Company CAN Go Green
Ways for the Small to Mid-Sized Business to Become Socially Conscious & Increase Its Bottom Line
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(Louisville, KY August 20, 2007) - The socially conscious business concept has officially become mainstream. For years companies struggled to find a way to integrate social responsibility into the workplace and now with the “green theme” firmly planting itself into society as a way of being, companies have something tangible to grasp onto. So far, Fortune 500 companies like Wal-Mart and Sun Microsystems are full green ahead, but what can smaller companies who don’t have the same resources do to reduce their eco-footprint?
A greener workplace equals a lighter ecological footprint, a healthier and more productive place to work, and good news for the bottom line, which is key for the small to mid-sized business (SMB). Whether you’re the boss or the employee, we should all have sensitivity toward reducing the threats we face from global warming, species extinction, deforestation, toxic waste, and hazardous chemicals in our water and food. Here are some practical steps that can lay the groundwork for a green workspace:
• See the light! For an SMB it can be as easy as switching a light bulb. For each compact fluorescent bulb you use, your company will keep half a ton of carbon dioxide out of the air over its lifetime. And while compact fluorescents are initially a lot more expensive than the incandescent bulbs you're used to using, they last ten times as long and can save $30 per year in electricity costs. Many leased spaces in office buildings still require the company to pay the electric bill for their share of the building. Help your bottom line with this easy fix.
• Energy in Motion. This concept is as simple as turning off the lights. Office buildings eat up enormous amounts of energy by leaving lights on when the office isn’t in use during nighttime hours. Try installing motion sensors in your office. If nobody has gone in or out of your office in a half hour, the lights will turn off automatically. A model such as this one found at elights.com can be purchased for as little as $39.
• Be a Star with Equipment. Buy energy-efficient office equipment. Now this isn’t a new concept, as Energy Star began appearing mainstream with the advent of Intel processors. However, still worth a mention according to the EPA, Energy Star-labeled equipment can save up to 75 percent of total electricity use.
• The Three Rs. Recycle. Recycle. Recycle. If your office doesn't have a recycling program, work with your office manager or HR management to set one up. Paper, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles are easy to start with, and additional materials can be added as the staff gets used to recycling. Set up bins in convenient areas to collect each type of material your office recycles, and make sure everyone knows they are there. Take it one step further by setting up a cell phone recycling program. ECO-CELL.org allows you to send in your old cell phones and either make money for your company (through fundraising)
• The Proof is in the Purchase. There is more to going green than just internal efforts. Commit to environmentally friendly purchasing practices. Encourage your company to make a commitment to purchasing paper and plastic materials made with post-consumer recycled content. Companies should avoid paper products made from 100 percent virgin fiber content, and switch to paper that is 30 percent post-consumer content at minimum. Many office supply companies have readily available recycled products such as this recycled paper from Office Depot.
Get This Party Started! Share these tips with your colleagues. The beauty of the green initiative is that it condones a community sense of effort that will boost morale within the company and make everyone (boss and employee) feel a sense of unity.
Companies can take things one step further and promote these ideas into the home for their employees. In today’s workplace there really is no reason NOT to go green. You will see an increase in employee satisfaction, an increase in the bottom line and most importantly, an increase in the positive effect your company will have on future generations.
Tips Provided by ECO-CELL
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ECO-CELL is a cell phone recycling and fundraising company that works with a variety of organizations in the U.S. and Canada, particularly zoos and conservation programs, to collect used cell phones and raise funds for those organizations. ECO-CELL helps keep cell phones out of landfills and provides organizations with a profitable, easy to use, environmentally focused fund-raising program. For more information, visit: www.eco-cell.org.