A carbon footprint is an estimate that helps an individual or organization understand their impact on the environment over time. A carbon footprint is determined by taking stock of a person or organization’s greenhouse gas emissions and waste over the course of a lifetime. If you are looking to reduce your business’s negative impact on the environment, check out our top 5 suggestions for how you can make 2012 your greenest year yet!
1. Switch To Fair Trade
One of the easiest, and most delicious, ways to make a positive impact on the environment is through your food purchases. When it comes to the office, coffee, cream and sugar are the top food items to be found. Instead of purchasing your coffee grounds in bulk, switch your brew to a more eco-friendly option such as Fair Trade certified organic coffees and teas.
The Fair Trade food movement has been gaining steam with many retailers, especially those who sell coffee and teas. This social movement is devoted to helping developing countries maintain better trade standards and working conditions. The movement also has a strong focus on sustainable farming and shipping practices. If you don’t want to pay the higher premium for Fair Trade coffee blends, opt for coffee from a local or regional coffee distributor. Coffee products have one of the largest carbon footprints due to the distance it travels to go from farm to table. Buying local helps cut down on greenhouse gas emissions related to its distribution.
2. SIP Trunking
If you work in an office park, traveling between facilities can quickly result in increased fuel costs and vehicle mileage. Save money and reduce your business’s greenhouse gas emissions by opting for SIP trunking services. SIP trunking is the perfect solution for large or small businesses that have employees located at multiple sites or at home. SIP trunking seamlessly combines a company’s digital communications such as the Internet and teleconferencing with local and long distance phone services, which are delivered via one “master” connection that can be accessed remotely.
Allstream SIP Trunking services can help companies create sustainable communications and connectivity plans, which can save on costs and help improve a company’s bottom line. Allstrream SIP Trunking can help their clients finds collaborative software, remote access and Internet solutions that are customized for each client’s needs. In addition to saving money, SIP trunking will help facilitate group sharing, provide access to digital office materials while at home and allow for flexible meetings.
3. Install Low-Flow Toilets
When toilets get used on a regular basis, they tend to waste a great deal of water. This not only costs your business more money, but is bad for the environment as well. Low-flow toilets can help you to save on water, and are inexpensive to install.
4. Partner With Other Green Businesses
There’s no better way to make your business green than to support other green businesses. No matter what the industry, you can usually find a business to support that utilizes green practices. For example, consider hiring a green business to handle your recycling.
5. Upgrade to Eco-Friendly Fixtures
The bathroom is one of the first places to look to reduce your office’s impact on the environment. If your office still relies on paper towels, replace them with an eco-friendly hand dryer. Many feel that hand dryers are a more sanitary option. Plus, some hand dryer models only come on when needed and can save more energy in the long run.
Switching out your light bulbs for energy-efficient bulbs is another great way to brighten your workspace and alleviate energy costs. If you’re serious about reducing your energy costs and are looking for a more permanent solution, opt for installing occupancy sensors in your vending machines and overhead lights. These types of sensors will ensure these items only come on when needed. Business owners may also want to invest in sinks and hand dyers with motion sensors for similar reasons.
Marlon McDonald is a business writer, editor and all-around green business enthusiast. He does his part to help the planet by researching the most cutting-edge green solutions to keep a company running and sharing them with business owners around the country.
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