Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Cutting Down Your Carbon Footprint

by Lawton Brothers | Nov 09, 2017

In times past, cutting down on your carbon footprint only caused inconvenience and extra cost. These days, though, reducing, reusing and recycling can save money and enhance corporate images, all the while taking pressure off our too-polluted environment. What's not to love?

Although a commitment to lowering your use of energy and disposable products can cost your business initially, for the savings you enjoy over time, it could be well worth the effort. Here are several ways to bring down your company's carbon footprint.

Dramatically Cut Energy Costs with Ceiling Fans

In rooms with high ceilings, the air becomes stratified with the warmer air near the ceiling and the cooler near the floor. During the cold season, this stratification wastes an incredible amount of energy. The heating system must work hard to keep the atmosphere sensed by the thermostat warm enough for comfort. By installing efficient fans on the ceiling to send that hot air to the floor, your HVAC system breathes a sigh of relief.

Also, during the hot months, by circulating the air with fans, the air mixes throughout the room so that you avoid areas of extreme cold while some spots remain too hot. All year, you can reduce your heating and cooling costs significantly simply by installing ceiling fans and taking a load off the HVAC equipment. Lighter use means longer lifecycles and fewer repairs in the interim.

Switch to LED Light Bulbs

Another great way to save on energy comes in the form of light emitting diodes (LEDs). Not only have LED bulbs come down in price from the early days of consumer availability, they also come in just about every configuration to fit existing traditional light fixtures. When you can receive 75 watts of brilliance using less than 15 watts of electricity, you save considerably on lighting costs. Moreover, because LEDs generate very little heat, they last far longer than incandescent and florescent bulbs. You save twice by reducing how often you need to buy bulbs to keep your workspaces illuminated.

Recycle Everything Possible

Establishing an enterprise-wide recycling program can keep a lot of refuse out of landfills and enhance your corporate image. From administration, production and cleaning to even the lunch room, plenty of papers, plastics and glass can make a return trip to producers with just a little organization and commitment on the part of your company.

Whenever possible, re-use sheets from copier failures for scratch paper near the phones. When the cleaning staff empties liquid jugs or cardboard packaging boxes, make sure they end up in recycle bins, not the trash. Everything that can be re-purposed should be.

Go to Electronic Meetings Rather than the Airport

If your business entails meetings away from home turf, try teleconferences instead of trips. Not only will a video conference save your company's travel budget, you send one less person out to spew exhaust into the air unnecessarily.

Taking the idea a bit further, if your business model permits, you could do well to allow employees to work from home as much as possible. You help reduce carbon emissions even further when employees seldom have to leave home and travel to work and back. Keeping them off the roads even forestalls frustration, tension and risk, things that can easily translate into lower productivity.

Use Better Cleaning Methods

It's pretty easy to fall into a janitorial system that uses a lot of disposable products such as paper towels. The convenience of simply throwing out used towels rather than laundering cloth can appeal to your desire to increase productivity across all departments. However, when you can reuse cleaning cloths, you not only save money on paper purchases but you take a little more demand for fossil fuels out of the market.

When you switch to cloth, consider going with microfiber towels instead of cotton. They can pick up far more dirt, liquids and microbes while requiring less water and detergents. You get a cleaner, more sanitary facility for a smaller carbon outlay and, over the lifecycle of the cloths, less money.

Install Solar Panels

By installing a photovoltaic system at your building, you can further diminish your use of energy. By converting rooftops or carport roofs from unproductive surfaces to generators of electricity to go back to the grid or into your own power system, you actually become an asset to the environment.

Look around your enterprise and see what you can do to recycle, reuse, reduce your carbon footprint and increase your profits in the process.

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