5 Ways Businesses Can Protect The Environment

Over the years, humans have begun to see the negative impact a lot of our behaviors have had on the earth. Whether it is our use of energy, our contribution to growing landfills or a variety of other things, many people are making changes. More and more individuals are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and lead environmentally friendly lives.

While individuals are increasingly doing their part to help the environment, businesses also need to do the same. They are often some of the biggest contributors of the environmental damage being done, and need to find ways to turn it around. With that in mind, this article is going to go over a few ways that businesses can help protect the environment.

1. Adopt More Efficient Processes and Machinery

Many processes and machines that businesses will use end up using a lot more energy or power than they need. Protecting the environment can often be as simple as replacing or changing these processes and machinery to efficient options that exist today.

ecofriendly-manufacturing

For example, a fax machine, which is still used at many companies, can use a lot of energy to work all day. They can generally waste a lot of paper too. Instead, consider using a service like eFax. They allow you to send and receive faxes quickly, all online without the need for a machine. This is only one of several examples of how old, outdated and inefficient processes and technology can be replaced.

2. Reduce Paper Waste

Many businesses create a lot of waste. While this type of waste can depend on your company and industry, it is often things like paper and garbage. In fact, around 26% of the total waste in landfills is paper waste. This isn’t all from companies, but they generally create much more paper waste than residential households will.

While many companies have gone completely paperless, others still have a lot of work to do in that department. Some of the best ways to reduce paper waste are to store files online, use electronic documents and print things less often. In addition to less waste, these online solutions are generally easier and preferred for both employees and customers. Of course, any paper you do still need to use, make sure it gets recycled and isn’t simply tossed in with the rest of the garbage.

3. Use Efficient Light Bulbs

Keeping your office buildings well-lit is an important part of ensuring your employees can comfortably see and do their job. However, with potentially hundreds of light bulbs on for the better part of most days, these lights can use a ton of energy. Instead of using traditional bulbs, consider using energy-efficient LEDs.

LED-lighting-workplace

In addition to saving energy, these bulbs can save money as they take less energy to use. Most will also last significantly longer, and aren’t that much more expensive to buy. This is a quick change that can have a significant impact on how much energy is used and/or wasted at your business.

4. Allow Telecommuting and Remote Work

While the prevalence of remote work has been growing recently, there are still some companies who don’t allow it. By simply allowing people to work remotely permanently, or from time to time, companies can improve their eco-friendliness. The amount of energy used in your office should drop significantly with less people there.

Also, with less people driving to work, your company will lower the emissions it is responsible for creating, even if only by a little bit. In addition to saving the environment, having more employees work remotely will save on energy costs. You could even potentially downsize to a smaller and more affordable office.

5. Clean Up Any Mess You Make

Using hazardous materials or chemicals is sometimes required at many companies for a variety of things. Ensuring you proper waste disposal is of the utmost importance. As a result, be sure to work with a reputable clean-up service who works in an environmentally friendly manner.

recycling-in-offices

If this mess is cleaned up incorrectly, your company could be doing a ton of damage to the environment near your offices, plants or factories. Not only that, but you could find yourself in serious troubles with the government if you don’t do things according to the regulations in your area.

Bottom Line

These are 5 of the many different ways that businesses can help do their part to protect the environment. Many of these methods can also help the business by saving you money or providing an increase to efficiency or productivity.

11 Ways College Students Can Save Paper

Paper, in all of its forms, is one of the most useful and versatile products. It is also one of the most widely used item for college students. The bad news is that our use of paper has some pretty intense impacts on the environment. These include water and air pollution, deforestation, and the accumulation of paper waste in landfills.

The good news is that every individual can play a role in helping to eliminate the damage done by the use of and production of paper products. Now, this is the point where many readers will think of themselves, “I recycle. Isn’t that enough?”

The truth is, while recycling certainly helps, it doesn’t eliminate the problems our use of paper creates. In fact, the recycling process itself has an environmental cost.  Keep recycling for sure, but also consider ways in which you can reduce the amount of paper you use. Here are eleven ways you can get started.

1. Make your subscriptions digital

Whether your interests are in technology, fashion, current events, music or something else, magazines are full of useful information. The problem is that once you’re done with them, your choices are to recycle them, throw them out, or let them collect dust. None of these things are good for the environment.

Instead, convert your paper subscriptions to digital. Not only will you help the environment, you’ll save space as well. Even better, digital copies of magazines are searchable. This means you can find the articles you want with ease.

2. Donate old newspapers and magazines

If you do have hard copies of newspapers and magazines at home, don’t throw them out or recycle them. There may be places that are happy to take them off your hands. Your local community center, retirement homes, hospitals and homeless shelters are often in search of reading materials for their clients.

3. Use double-sided printing

There is no way to avoid printing altogether, but you may be able to reduce the paper you use when you do print. Whenever possible use double-sided printing. You can even print more than one page per side. Also, experiment line spacing and font size. With a few adjustments, you can significantly reduce the amount of paper you print over time. Encourage your friends, even your University and College, and your community to do the same.

4. Get your statements online

If you are still receiving your bank statements and billing notices via snail mail that’s a problem. Not only are you getting your paper bills and statements, chances are you’re receiving inserts, coupons, and other junk. Convert to paperless mode and eliminate all of this.

5. Use a blackboard or whiteboard

Shopping lists, reminders, and notes to your roommates represent just a few of the things you likely jot down and have scattered about your place. You aren’t alone. Those bits and pieces of paper add up. You can replace these by simply hanging up a whiteboard or blackboard in a convenient spot.

If somebody needs to jot something down, they can use that instead of wasting paper. If you need something a bit more portable, simply snap a picture with your phone.

6. Get a digital calendar

You also don’t need paper to stay on top of your schedule or to coordinate with friends and family members. Instead, choose a digital calendar that works for you. Then arrange to share calendars with those friends and family members. With most online calendars you can create to-do lists, set alarms, and send out reminders.

7. Give old newspapers to animal shelter

Your local animal shelter or rescue might be thrilled to get your old newspapers. They use these for bedding and as cage liners.  Newspapers can also be used to help insulate winter shelters for feral cat colonies.

8. Use washcloths and hand towels

There is no doubt that paper towels and napkins are useful. Many of us use them while we’re eating, to wipe up spills, for cleaning, even for covering food in the microwave. The problem is that once we’re done all of those paper products go directly into the trash. That’s wasteful and bad for the environment. Instead, invest in cloth alternatives.

Washcloths and hand towels are exceptionally cheap. Cloth diapers last forever and are amazing for cleaning. Even old worn-out clothing can be cut up and used as dust rags.

9. Take notes digitally

At this point, there should be little or no occasions where you need to take notes on paper. There are simply too many options for taking notes digitally, not to take advantage of this. Save paper by using an app, such as Evernote, to take and organize your notes.

Use voice to text, or simply type up your notes in your favorite word processor. Not only will your digital notes save paper, you’ll be better able to create quality essays and research papers. If you need help to turn these notes into better papers, check out essay editing reviews. Save the planet, and improve your grades.

In some cases, you don’t need to take notes at all. See if your instructors save handouts and lecture notes online. Then, simply use these as reference materials.

10. Reduce paper use at the grocery store

Hopefully, you have ditched single-use plastic and paper bags for reusable ones. If not, this is a great place to start. However, that’s just the beginning. There are other ways to reduce paper use while you shop.

First, hit the bulk bins for your dried goods. Instead of using the plastic or paper bags provided, bring your own reusable containers. Next, pay attention to packaging as you shop. You’ll be amazed at the amount of paper and plastic that is wasted through extra packaging. Be a conscientious shopper, and buy products that use the least amount of paper material.

11. Praise brands that use less paper

While you shop, pay attention to which brands are responsible in their use of paper and which brands are not. Then, let your thoughts be known. If a brand is behaving responsibly in this area, contact them and let you know you appreciate it and will be buying their products.

If not, contact them with your concerns. Believe it or not, companies do care what you think, and if they hear from enough people they might change their behaviors.

Final thoughts 

Paper waste is a huge problem at colleges and universities. In fact, the issue can seem overwhelming. However, if every individual would change a few of their habits with regard to paper consumption, there would be a great impact. You can get started with these steps.