Reduce Your Company?s Carbon Footprint and Save Money
The environmental cost of commerce has become an important part of business in America and the world as we all become increasingly aware and concerned about the impact of our actions on climate change and our environment. Many businesses are creating sustainability plans, training environmental impact officers and implementing company wide recycling and reduction programs.
For many small and medium sized businesses, the option of hiring a college degreed sustainability officer and staff is really not in the budget. There are however new online training programs which cater to small and medium sized businesses such as CarbonProfessionalSchool.com But short of taking a course and becoming an expert, what can your business do to be environmentally responsible and reduce your carbon footprint…all while saving money.
Here are 5 ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save some money.
(1) Recycle Toner and Ink Jet Cartridges. These things, which always run out at the most inopportune time, cost way too much and, contrary to what the big companies than manufacture them proclaim with their “send it in recycling programs” – end up in the landfill, usually in the poorest areas of the world. The technology and quality of recycled toner and ink jet cartridges in many cases surpasses the original equipment manufacturers…and you get to support a local business like yours when you patronize them. And don’t forget to set your printers to “draft” mode when you’re not printing for official communications…it’ll save you money and toner/ink.
(2) Use Less and Buy Recycled Paper. Back in the early 90’s when email was gaining popularity we all proclaimed that it was the beginning of the paperless office. But the paper companies weren’t scared. Paper sales went through the roof because now we had more information to print out, copy and share with each other. Now there are a variety of document sharing services, including free ones like Google Docs, while allow immediate sharing of and collaboration of documents without having to print out 5 copies for the group to mark up. It saves money, time and is much more efficient.
Furthermore, as the quality of recycled content paper has gone up to photo quality level and the cost has gone down to below the cost of “new” paper, it clearly makes no sense not to include the procurement of recycled printer and copier paper in your corporate sustainability plan.
(3) Go Paperless with your invoices. PayPal and Google Checkout both have electronic invoicing capabilities for those of you who process payments via credit card, and for many companies, their PayPal and Google Checkout accounts are tied directly to their corporate checking accounts for seemless, and transaction fee free payment processing. They both offer a variety of export formats and integrate with popular accounting packages like QuickBooks and Microsoft Accounting.
No more 3 copy carbon based invoices, no gas guzzling postmen delivering the mail and no more licking envelopes!
(4) Recycle Everything. Soda cans, newspapers, used equipment, furniture and materials (if you’re manufacturing things) all carry a price. Aluminum cans trade for around $ .80 a pound (32 12 ounce cans = 1 pound) – so figure you can sell them to a local recycler for a bit better than half of that. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you have an office full of Red Bull crazed employees or “Diet Coke Fiends” it can actually add up relatively quickly.
List your used equipment on Craigslist or Google for a local company that will pick up and “recycle” your used equipment – or better yet, donate it to a local charity and take the tax deduction. Goodwill and the Salvation Army will send out a truck to pick up larger items and most likely make weekly or monthly trips through your area.
(5) Offset Your Carbon Footprint with Carbon Credits
While Reducing, Reusing and Recycling is key in preventing climate change, offsetting your carbon emissions is the next great step in the preservation of our environment for generations to come. The Carbon Calculator Math is below, or you could use a Carbon Footprint Calculator at ecoaidnow.com/Calculators.aspx
To offset your carbon emissions simply means to neutralize your part in the polluting of our environment. In technical terms, a carbon offset is a certificate representing the reduction of one metric ton (2,205 lbs) of carbon dioxide emissions.
Certified Projects are developed such as a reforestation project that reduces carbon dioxide emissions, every ton of emissions reduced will result in the creation of one certified carbon offset (ecoaidnow.com)
Since carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of climate change, purchasing carbon offsets is key to promoting a greener environment.
When you offset your personal carbon emissions, you are doing your much-needed part in helping to put an end to global warming and climate change. In addition to making the world a better place, you just might also score a few popularity points with your friends and family.
Going Green at work doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to build a new building out of used tires, or procure all new energy saving computer and office equipment. It is possible to work towards carbon neutrality without breaking the bank, and then supplement your efforts with cost-effective carbon credits.
Dr. Ken Pollock is EcoAid’s Chief Executive Officer, sets the strategy for the company. www.ecoaidnow.com. Read more of his articles at www.buycarboncreditsandoffsets.com. In addition, he will be launching http://carbonprofessionalschool.com in the near future to provide the training and tools for individuals, businesses and institutions. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering.
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