Drip. Drip. Drip. Don’t Let Going Green Drip Away!

October 6, 2008

Are your efforts to go green leaking away a drop at a time?  A leaky faucet can lose as much as 50 gallons of water per day.  A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons per day.  And a properly operating but aging commode can use twice as much water as a newer one.
 
Water is one of our most precious resources and if you aren’t careful, it can ruin your business’ efforts to Greenify.   So let’s start with those sinks. If they are leaking, that’s easily spotted and you can quickly get a plumber on it. 

Turn off the faucet when you don’t need it.  If you’re filling several buckets, turn off the water in between. Saving just that much water on a regular basis can help.

What about a leaky toilet?  Check if your toilet is leaking by placing a drop of food coloring in the tank; if the color shows in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak. And if your toilet was made before 1992, it may use 3.5 gallons of water, compared to 1.3 gallon per flush on more modern toilets.  Replace it and save money over time.

Also check your sprinkler system.  Drip irrigation systems use 20 to 50 percent less water than conventional sprinkler systems. They are also much more efficient than in-ground sprinklers because no water is lost to wind, runoff, and evaporation. 

Finally check utility bills.  When the bill goes up, check with your local supplier or municipality to find out if water rates went up, or if your savings are leaking away.
 
Saving water is one way to Greenify that can pay off in more ways than one. 


Go Green – Go Local!

September 29, 2008

We are seeing how going green and “buying local” can have unexpected benefits to our health and certainly take a lot of stress off our minds.   And in spite of growing emphasis on the “Global Marketplace,” current news events make greenifying a more obvious choice for the health and environmentally conscious.

The case in point is the mountain concern surrounding milk products in China where at least four children have died and tens of thousands have been sickened by cow’s milk tainted with melamine and possibly other toxins that got into the milk and other products made using it.

More than a dozen countries have now banned or recalled Chinese dairy products and the European Union has barred Chinese baby food items made with even trace amounts of dairy from the Asian giant. Even now, the tainting “scare” is now spreading to various popular candies and other items.

Consuming more local foods can help us contain our concerns about countries with less government supervision of their products.  Last year, there were similar concerns among children’s toys and other products as well as contaminated pet foods imported from foreign countries that sickened animals and put children at risk.  

Many times when we go to the grocery store, we are offered a choice for regional “farmers market” or organic products which can be more expensive; or a cheaper imported product produced in a foreign country where quality assurance cannot be easily ascertained.

When we buy local, we help local economies, encourage farmers and agribusiness within our own borders, are assured of governmental oversight and safety standards of any such products, and of course go great by shrinking our “carbon footprint” with greatly reduced shipping costs.

And in this case, we might prevent illness that will require years of recovery.


Customized Reusable Shopping Bags: Good for the Environment; Great for Your Company!

September 22, 2008

How would you like to put your name and advertising logo into the pocket or purse of each of your customers, while at the same time, greenifying your business and saving money long-term?

It’s possible.  Environmentalists estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion of the bags are now used worldwide every year.  And studies show that 100,000 marine animals perish every year because of the plastic bags.  Maybe it’s time you looked around for reusable shopping bags for your customers. 

You can order them in your favorite colors, numerous styles and with your logo and name on the exterior.  Some fold up so small they fit in pockets or purses.  Others flatten for easy transport. 

And here’s another reason to put your bag into your customers’ hands.  If you think about it, when was the last time you wanted to carry a bag with one company’s logo on it into a competing company’s store to load on supplies?  Custom-made re-usable bags help reinforce brand loyalty while giving your business a reputation for “going green.”   And if you think saving the environment is a noble cause, think about how many fewer bags you’d have to buy down the road.  It might take a while to see those savings, but “if you provide them, they will come.”  And come again. 

Greenifying your business has benefits in so many ways, doesn’t it?  

Here are several companies that make customized reusable bags:

http://www.reusethisbag.com/

http://www.tansclub.com/cottontotebag.html?gclid=COzhsfat8JUCFQykagod7WVBfA

http://dealbags.com/tote_bags.html


Green Polar Bears??

September 8, 2008

Can it be? Is it true? Are polar bears making an attempt to Greenify? Apparently the answer is yes. Well, yes for a few select polar bears that reside at the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in central Japan. Check out the picture. Before you jump to conclusions, these bears did not change their diets, or start a recycling program. Rather, their furry white coats have actually gone green. I doubt that they are trying to make an eco-statement to the world. Or perhaps they are.

However, zoo officials claim that the polar bears tactic to go green was just a chance event. It was the result of a lot of July swimming in an algae-filled pond. It is difficult to remove the algae from the bears' thick fur. It seems that this new fashion statement on their part is here to stay until the November time-frame. At that point, hopefully the temperatures will sub-side and so will the algae growth.


Going Green on the Grill

June 26, 2008

Summer is officially here. For many families that means firing up the grill for weekend BBQs. Have you ever thought about how to Greenify your grilling? Charcoal or gas? Which is greener? These questions remain up for debate.

Many people seem to prefer the taste of food grilled over smoking wood or charcoal rather than gas. Wood chips are a greener choice than charcoal. Charcoal releases more greenhouse gases than the wood. If you must have your charcoal consider eliminating the lighter fluid used to help ignite the fire. An alternative to the lighter fluid is balled up newspaper or a chimney starter.

Gas grilling is one of the most energy-efficient grilling options. Natural gas is greener than propane because it is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel which translates into burning releasing fewer of those dangerous pollutants. Electric grills are also a good green option.

For those that only grill on sunny days, you may want to consider a solar sizzler. This is clearly the greenest grilling option. Let’s face it, most of us would prefer to only grill on sunny days. I mean who really wants to stand out in the rain flipping burgers?

Whether you choose wood chips, lighter fluid-less charcoal, natural gas, electric or solar grilling methods, enjoy the endless days of summer bbqs and Green Grilling!

 


Wedding Bells...Time to Greenify

June 10, 2008

Couples are opting out of white weddings and going for the green! One of the hottest trends in the $40 billion wedding industry is the Greenified wedding. If you are planning a wedding, consider some of these ways to Greenify your event.

Invitations: There are many possibilities to green up your invitations. Using recycled paper is the obvious choice, but you could also consider using paper made from hemp or other tree free products. Soy ink is pretty standard these days. What about finding paper embedded with flower seeds for your guests to plant? (Maybe suggest they wait till after the wedding to plant. I could see someone forgetting the details with the invitation buried.) If you are a crafty type, you could make your own invitation paper using recycled paper, grasses, even dryer lint.

Wedding Dress: I can see this being the hardest aspect of a wedding for a bride to Greenify. There are a number of designers who are creating eco-friendly wedding dresses made from natural fibers such as organic cotton, hemp, silk, even bamboo. To go a step further, a bride might consider altering a family member's wedding dress or finding a secondhand dress. Recapture Vintage Bridal Designs  in Oakland, CA. specializes in restyling vintage gowns.

Rings: The movie "Blood Diamond" brought light on to a subject seldom talked about in the wedding industry. Consider resetting a family diamond or looking for a local artisan rather than purchasing a ring from one of the large chains.

Flowers: The ultimate green bouquet might be the one you or a loved one grows especially for the wedding. Otherwise, you might start with your local farmer's market and see if there is a flower seller who could create bouquets, centerpieces and altar pieces using local organically grown flowers. Organic Bouquets will also provide you with organic flowers.

Catering: Food may be the single biggest expense at your wedding. You can look for a caterer who specializes in organic food such as Back to Earth Catering in Berkeley, CA. Or you can simply ask your caterer to provide local, fresh, organic food. You do not have to give up beef, chicken or lamb entrees, just look for local providers who raise their livestock in humane, organic fashion. One thing to keep in mind is that the FDA regulates the word organic and being able to use the word costs money. Some local farmers are not able to justify that added expense and they may use words such as "naturally grown" instead of "organic".

Wine and beer: When looking for wine or beer to serve at the reception, there are a number of vineyards and breweries creating organic beverages. Consider first looking for a local vintage. For instance, if you happen to be getting married in Cooperstown, NY, Charlotte's Vineyard is close by as are the Cooperstown Brewing Company and the Ommegang Brewery. Providing local beverages will give your guest a chance to taste something new, not to mention help the local economy.


Power of the Greenified Seal

May 2, 2008

Going green may be the hip thing to do, but it is more than just a trend. Many people are trying to incorporate being greener into their everyday lives and are making deliberate choices such as searching out companies who are green. Which brings me to today’s topic – why the Green Business Alliance Greenified Seal matters.

When you display the Greenified Seal on your website, your windows or in your office, you are telling your customers and clients that you have made a conscious effort to adopt environmentally friendly business practices. In fact, you have made such an effort that you have third party verification – someone else other than you is saying “yes, this company has demonstrated a commitment to going green.”

The Greenified Seal assures the new breed of consumers that the business they are considering is one that cares about the environment and its employees. There are organizations that one can purchase a membership to, but in order to receive the Green Business Alliance Greenified Seal, the company actually has to embrace a green philosophy. This step is enough to create sales and business from environmentally concerned consumers.


Is Going Green An Investment Or An Expense?

March 20, 2008

Turn the dial back a couple of years and the notion that a mainstream company (as opposed to an obvious polluter) would make modifications to the way they operate their business, in an effort to become increasingly sensitive to the environment would have seemed like a far-fetched idea.

With similar hindsight, the concept that purchasers (be they consumers or businesses) would factor the "greenness" of a company into their decision-making process would have been equally outlandish.

In just a few short years, the recognition of the importance of Going Green has been significant, yet it's still in its infancy. Trying to make heads or tails of what it means to become Green remains fuzzy for many people, including grasping the proper perspective to embrace the costs involved. Are they actually costs or are they part of a branding process to help define a company (i.e. marketing)? Please refer back to our blog post from last Monday regarding Whole Foods.

At the end of the day, Going Green is all good. Most importantly, it is the right thing to do from an "eco" perspective, but it may also be beneficial to the business in a number of other ways. So although Going Green may result in some incremental costs, those funds could plausibly be viewed as an investment rather than an expense.


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