Monday, March 30, 2009

saving green

Last week our president (of my place of employment) told us that they will do their best not to lay anyone off and that they are looking to cut wasteful spending to get us through these tough times. He asked us to all act as though we own the company, and think of ways we could save money and write our ideas down and give them to our supervisors. I sent my director an email with about 12 ideas (not including two other emails) for conserving energy - which is the same thing as money.

I think this is a great idea for anyone who works - do your company a favour, look around you and write down everything you can think of that is wasteful (single use cups, old fashioned lightbulbs, single sided printing, faxing, etc) and let them know. If you can help them save some cash, I'm sure they'd appreciate your concern and effort. My little brother also did this for the restaurant he works at. Its is not a green company by any means, but since being green often means saving green, they are suddenly interested.

Yes, it will cost a little up front, but in the long run it will save money (like the little things I've done at my apartment).

To help you out, I'll post my ideas.

Vending mashines with sensors that turn off/or decrease energy usage during the long periods when no one uses them.

Unplug (or plug into a power strip and unplug) appliances when they are not in use. Appliances like computers, cell phone chargers etc use a lot of energy even when they are turned off.

If your company uses paper towels, dyson hand dryers are more hygenic and save money (less upkeep too)

Turning your thermostat up a few degrees in summer and down a few in winter can save energy - dress appropriately and shade those windows!

Replace all lightbulbs with CFL or LED light bulbs.

If you work somewhere that gives the customer a reciept, ask if they even want if - not printing it will save you paper (it all adds up).

If you have showers use low flow shower heads (1.5 gallons per minute or less) and low flow faucets.

Print in draft mode, print double sided and decrease your margins to avoid using an extra paper.

If you use a company car or charge your gas to the company - avoid idling. I turn off my car when I'm stuck at a train crossing. (This counts for the drive through too - burn a few calories and walk in).

If you can't get people to turn off the lights when they leave a room, consider motion detecting light switches.

If your still sending faxes (who faxes?) consider e-faxing instead.

I'm sure there are wasteful habits that can be cut out where you work too, I think of the economic downturn as an opportunity for people to wake up to their wasteful lifestyles and make a change for the better.

If you have any ideas I haven't posted, please let me know!

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which is more important? i.e. which would you choose at the exclusion of the other?