Green Business Alliance Blog

Green Business Alliance believes in utilizing the power of the Internet to educate on the importance of adopting environmentally sensitive business practices. Our blog is updated frequently with helpful tips for large and small companies and employees. We invite you to visit our blog regularly to gain valuable insights.

Greenify your Life: Keeping It Old School

October 10, 2008

The “good old days” weigh heavily on modern life, don’t they?  In some ways, people didn’t think about how to Greenify.  They went around polluting without giving a thought to the need to Go Green.

But they also didn’t throw things away as readily.  It wasn’t a disposable society.  So let’s borrow a few thoughts from our parents.

When was the last time you went to a library?  These days, some of us buy every movie that comes out without thought for the fact that we rarely watch a movie more than once or twice and that the technology is moving so quickly that we’re now moving from standard DVD’s to Blu-Ray discs and making all those old movies obsolete in the bargain.  (With one billion DVD players out there, consider the impact on landfill alone.)

How about we go back to the library system?  We reconsider reading.  Borrowing instead of buying saves on paper, ink and printing costs.  Libraries are free and they are gateways to an old fashioned pleasure.  Of course in many modern libraries, there is a DVD section.  We could also borrow DVD’s from friends and swap them around readily. 

Maybe it’s time to go back to the old neighborly practice of borrowing power tools and other appliances?  It cuts down on your garage clutter and your carbon footprint, while at the same time adding to good feelings in the ‘hood when you return them on a timely basis.


Carbon footprint of six every day products

October 8, 2008

Do you ever wonder what the carbon footprint is of a gallon of milk or a fleece jacket or a six-pack of beer? If so, there was a very informative article in Monday's Wall Street Journal (October 6th). It was the cover story of the Environment Report section. Jeffrey Ball took an in-depth look at the carbon footprint of six products. Six Products, Six Carbon Footprints. Products we all know and probably use. Do you have a guess at how many pounds a Prius emits? What about laundry detergent? To find the answers to these questions and more read the article. You may be surprised at the carbon output of some of these products. Enjoy!


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. 


Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels

October 1, 2008

Hand dryers are probably one of the least popular ways to Greenify a business.  They are loud, users think dryers leave skin without natural oils, and that they sometimes seem to take forever to work.  But they should be among the most popular ways to go green with business owners.  Why?

One report estimates that for the average fast food restaurant’s restrooms to use paper towels for a year requires the wood product equivalent of 9 full grown trees and creates 1000 pounds of landfill waste in that same time period.  During the same timeframe, operating a hand dryer saves as much as 80% in energy costs, plus landfill fees, plus lowering labor costs because hand dryers don’t require maintenance.   

And we should point-out, hand-dryers are a changing, evolving asset that itself is growing greener day by day.  The newest models claim they save even more energy (cutting operational costs as much as 98%), drying hands in 10 seconds or less, and providing greater hygiene than ever before.

In fact, a Canadian study claims that the warm air blown across the skin surface does slightly dehydrate the skin, which leads to a decreased ability for microorganisms to grow and penetrate the tiny crevasses on the skins surface, where as absorbent towels may not provide the same protection, even though the skin appears dryer.
There you have it: easier on the environment, lower energy and labor costs, faster and more hygienic, too. 

What could make a decision to Greenify better?


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.


Ways to Greenify Your Office: #1 Start at the Top

September 24, 2008

There are lots of ways to greenify your office.  Let's go through them, one by one, with a few how's and why's on each way we can choose to Go Green.

 

Probably the first and most obvious tip is the one Dad taught you about greenifying: turn off the lights when you leave the room. 

 

We've all driven through a business district at night and wondered at the lights shining from inside the buildings.  How many people were literally burning the midnight oil? Or were they were merely burning through the bosses' money by leaving lights on?

 

Those thousands of office lights left running unnecessarily not only increase the cost of doing business in the form of higher energy bills, they cost home consumers more as power companies are forced to more and more electricity to cover increased consumption.  Plus all those lights left on overheat rooms which then require extra air-conditioning. (With standard light-bulbs, only 10-15% of the energy used is consumed as light; the rest produces heat.)  And certainly all that use makes light bulb manufacturers happy, too.  So click 'em off.  Install sensors in bathrooms and timer lights in supply closets. 

 

And if you haven't already, get some real savings on lighting by switching from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs which use about 75% less electricity.

 

Your greener planet will thank you.


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


Greenify Your Shipping Methods

September 12, 2008

Did you know that the box that you check to indicate your shipping preference can have an impact on the environment? A recent on-line shopping site I was perusing had a box in the shipping section that said "Go Green Go Ground." According to Onlineshoes, "ground shipping methods use about 1/8th less fuel than similar air or expedited methods."

While making a choice to go green with your shipment method, they offer one more piece of advice. Go Green and Get it Faster. Ship your package to work. They give three reasons to ship your good to your office rather than your home. 

·      Your delivery is more likely to arrive safe and secure at a business address.

·      You'll get it on the first delivery attempt.

·      Less fuel will be used. Business districts are usually closer to shipping centers, so carriers can deliver more items in a shorter distance.

The next time you are greenifying your purchases by shopping on-line, consider greenifying your shipping method as well. Happy shopping!
 


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.


Is your college ready to Greenify?

September 3, 2008

September is here. Labor Day has come and gone. Colleges and Universities around the country are welcoming students back to campus for the start of the academic year. It's time to hit the books, start studying and try to get good grades. While you are spending time in the library and on the computer, do you wonder whether your college is making the grade in an effort to Greenify?

Well now you can find out thanks in part ot the Princeton Review which recently added a green rating to its annual ranking of the best colleges. This score measures how "environmentally friendly, responsible, and committed the institutions are."

Here is a list of the univerisities that scored 99 out of a possible 100:

  • Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Bates College
  • Binghamton University
  • College of the Atlantic
  • Emory University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Washington
  • Yale University

The complete list is in the 2009 editions of the Princeton Review college books.


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