Going green is as ubiquitous a term today as a Camel cigarette ad 40 years ago, but going green is more than a buzzword. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warns that we’re ravaging the planet in a capacity that can’t support life, and in fact we will need two extra planets by the year 2050. As scary as this sounds, with the oceans being depleted, water polluted, and forests torn down, we simply go on our merry ways acting as if there’s not a serious problem.
In this case, statistics like that aren’t meant to be scary or guilt-trip you into selling your beloved SUV, but they should serve as inspiration to be part of the solution, not just the problem. Making small green-savvy changes to your lifestyle shouldn’t just be a suggestion, it should be part of your to-do list every day.
Bolster Your Business
Industry is one of the guiltiest polluters of all, with 28 percent of paper being one of the most wasteful things overcrowding landfills, reported the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009. There are many ways you can make simple, painless changes to help make your business more sustainable.
Energy Hours: Vampire electricity, or electronics left on idle, waste enough power each year to suck the usage of 18 power plants, according to the EPA. That’s why it can’t hurt to implement printing or faxing hours in your office, where employees can print, fax, or utilize machinery that sucks power.
Re-Use Office Paper: Re-use more than just paper, re-use everything you can, from memos to storage bins, to that old land line handset, even if it’s just for dcor.
Green-Friendly Suppliers: From perusing business card printing, to cubicles, to Energy Star efficient equipment, use a green-friendly approach to finding supplies and services, your conscience and the earth will thank you.
Fortify Your Family
The average person produces 1,600 pounds of garbage each year! Reducing your waste and carbon footprint helps your family learn about the importance of the environment and helps you cement lifelong habits that make for a sustainable planet.
Reduce: It wasn’t that long ago that disposable diapers didn’t exist; now they’re threatening to take over the world. Plastic packaging, disposable cups and plates, and insisting on brand-new everything is reaking havoc on the world. Instilling your kids and family with a less-is-more attitude should be a mandatory part of daily life.
Green Products: Companies like Ecos, Burt’s Bees and Dr. Bronner’s have not only devoted themselves to making great products, they have a double bottom line- where profit and sustainability are equally important. Whether they are offsetting their carbon footprint, pledging to only use natural ingredients, or using proceeds to rescue pandas- the message needs to be that what we do should be for other’s benefit just as much as it is our own.