Summer is just around the corner. Especially here in the South, summer means air conditioners going 24/7, and using lots of water for pools, lawns, and gardens. Are you ready to pay higher utility bills at home? What about for your business? Do you realize that you are paying up to 50% more than you should, due to decreased efficiency?
During the summer we all use up a lot of our natural resources, but most of us don’t fully realize the impact it has on our environment. Energy efficiency starts with YOU. Did you know that commercial buildings alone consume about 50% of the electricity used in the U.S.A.? Satisfying high energy demands using conventional electricity production not only leads to rolling power outages from stress on the power grid, but also drastically increased pollution. Willing to make a difference, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, calling for carbon emissions (pollution) to be reduced 42% by 2030. That’s not that far away. How will you comply? Reduce your pollution output by increasing your efforts to “Go Green”. It can radically improve your resource usage while saving the environment at the same time…but what does it mean to “Go Green”?
As small business owners, we want satisfied customers, motivated healthy employees, reduced expenses and increased profits. The health of your business is measured in more than just profit and loss. You recognize that operating more efficiently enhances your bottom line. More than just finding the cheapest and fastest way to get things done, efficiency includes increasing productivity by reducing wasted resources. This is what it means to “Go Green”. The less energy and water that you waste, for example, the more money you will save – especially as utility rates continue to rise. In addition, the fewer resources you use, the less water that goes down the drain to be reprocessed, and the lower the demand on the power grid. This means less energy has to be initially produced, thereby producing less pollution. By producing less pollution, the entire environment is healthier. You reduce your emissions while reducing your bills.
Going green also means creating a healthier personal environment. A major part of this is improving your indoor air quality, (IAQ). Most people spend 90% of their time indoors. One EPA study found that indoor air may be up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air! Poor IAQ currently costs U.S. businesses about $168 billion every year in productivity loss. Improving the IAQ in commercial offices has resulted in a more than 30% immediate increase in work productivity. Why? When the air you breathe is cleaner, there are fewer irritants and germs floating around to make you sick enough to go home, or just feel miserable at work. By improving your IAQ, you can help everyone affected to feel healthier, more alert, and therefore be more productive.
Save time, money, and the environment by supporting green sustainability efforts. There are many ways to incorporate greener practices and purchasing strategies (enviro-strategies) into your business and home. Start off with an efficiency evaluation of your current consumption of energy and water. You also need to have your IAQ evaluated, to learn how to improve health and productivity benefits – and that means a more favorable bottom line as well. Even large companies such as Wal-Mart, Nike, and Hewlett-Packard are increasing their efforts to go green, because they recognize that going green creates significant cost savings. Going Green may result in tax rebates, insurance discounts, and other financial incentives. It’s smart to follow successful examples. Additionally, the EPA is working hard to implement new environmental legislation and compliance enforcement regulations. Are you ready? Get an edge on your competition, and be the first to seek ways to promote greener practices in your own business – and home – environments. Invest in the success of your business, your community, and yourself. Go Green!
By Tina Gainey,
Certified Green Sustainability Specialist
Green/sustainability is not a trend – it is becoming a way of life. Greenway Saves (GS) is a conservation innovation consulting company. We offer enviro-strategy consultations, to evaluate your current efforts to reduce your use of energy and water; suggest methods to increase your efforts [including suggesting efficiency products from our hand-picked supplier network]; and certify your home or business as being one of three levels of “green”. Not only do we recommend ways for you to save up to 40% or more off your utility bills every month, but also how to implement greener practices to improve the health of your personal environment. For homes this can mean less time spent sick and at the doctor’s office, and for businesses it can mean increased productivity and decreased sick time use – an overall improved bottom line! PLUS, you may qualify for tax incentives and insurance discounts. It’s an immediate ROI benefit!
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