Monday, August 3rd, 2009
There are plenty of things in the news these days about the environment and the “green” movement. Energy costs have been rising over the last few years and there are new taxes that will give every business a reason to consider the environment a bit more and try to become more efficient. Successfully reducing the energy use in your company and in your home demands a commitment from everyone. Not only will you help the environment, but you will also save some money. The tips and tricks I’ve laid out below are just a start – scratching the surface of the many steps that can be taken to cut back on energy use. And, there is no reason these can’t be incorporated at your home as well as the work place.
So, here we go…
1. Raise the Thermostat, Turn off the Water and Change the Lightbulbs – These are simple and probably the most basic of changes that anyone can incorporate. Raise the Thermostat: Trust me, I know that it’s hot in the summer – I live in Houston and I’m very aware of how humid and hot things get in the middle of August. But, your body can adjust to slight changes in temperature relatively easily. Turning the air up so that it’s not running all of the time will lower the bills and total energy usage. Make a plan to raise the temperature 3-5 degrees from it’s current position. Do one degree a week and by the time you get to your goal, your body will be used to the change. If you think it’s hot inside, just go outside for an hour. That will give you some perspective. Turn off the Water: Do you turn the water on and walk off to do something else? Do you keep the water running while you brush your teeth or stand in a shower for 20 minutes trying to wake up? Why? Turn it off – lower your water intake and again, you will help the environment and your pocketbook. Change the LightBulbs – The lightbulbs of the past are exactly that. So, get some Energy Smart light bulbs to replace your current bulbs. They are more expensive, but they save on electricity costs, use less energy and are overall better for the environment. Less wattage and longer lasting…it’s worth it and it’s easy.
2. Printers – How much do you use your printer? Are you printing things that eventually get thrown away or tossed in a drawer? These days, with the ease of 3rd party data storage and computer back up procedures, the printer is not the necessary machine as in years past. Of course we still need a printer for some things, but just think before you print. Anyone who knows me or gets emails from me has seen the bottom of my emails… “Please consider the environment before printing this email.”
3. Turn it off – Did you know that lighting accounts for 44% of the monthly electricity usage at office buildings? When you leave a room, turn the light off. And, utilize natural light when you can. At the end of the day, turn all computers, lights, copy machines, printers, etc.. off. Don’t forget the power strips they are attached to. Also, during the day, setting your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks can cut energy use by 70 percent. And so you know, screen savers don’t save energy. Make this a habit and it won’t even phase you. The machines will last longer and the energy usage will decrease.
4. Recycle – This can be done at home or at work. It truly helps and it does not take a big change to incorporate recycling procedures. Place recycling bins in each office, next to the printers, in the break rooms, etc… At home, have a regular trash can and a recycle trash can. Be sure to place a sign next to the bins with what can be recycled and what can’t. Saving the Earth one can at a time – seems impossible, but every bit helps.
5. Consider who you do business with – The final tip for the day will include a courier service example. The easiest to give an example of energy saving and environmentally smart decisions is to give you a quick example of how working with a company like Hot Shot Delivery to deliver your packages vs. a different company can be good for the environment.
First, a little information….each person has a carbon footprint. According to Wikipedia, a carbon footprint is “the total set of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product” – their individual drain of energy on the environment. Finding out your carbon footprint and then learning ways to reduce it is a great step towards embracing a “greener” life.
Ok, so back to the example – Let’s say that you are in Downtown Houston and need to deliver a package to The Woodlands (approx. 30 minutes away). By working with Hot Shot Delivery, chances are good that you are not the only one that needs a package delivered there. So, your package jumps in with a few other packages making that trip. And, when the driver gets to the destination, he may have a few other packages to pick up in that area to bring back to Downtown Houston. All of these packages, on one trip – lowers YOUR carbon footprint. When you work with a company that is larger with more clients, you do have that benefit. Now, we are not saying there is anything wrong with working with small companies. However, in this example – the larger company can lower the burden on the environment by lumping several deliveries together to save gas, emissions and more.
Thanks for your efforts at “going green” and be sure to send in more examples of simple ways to reduce your impact on our environment.