Going green has always been one of the most economical ways to live and to conduct business. The early stages of the environmental movement started the mantra: recycle, reuse and reduce. Ideas and projects were developed to help people find better ways of living that didn’t leave a damaging carbon footprint on the environment. Going green is the new buzzword but the meaning and goals remain the same today as they did when it all got started.
Energy-efficient technologies have come a long way in recent years. Businesses that are ready to go green have numerous options to make their workplaces more efficient. Be creative and reuse shipping boxes for archiving, use an online fax service to save on paper costs, recycle used paper, and even reduce in-house staff by allowing some employees to telecommute part time.
One of the simplest ways for a business to go green is to start buying energy-efficient products. Simply replace older products on an as-needed basis with energy-efficient products. Look for products that display the Energy Star logo. The Energy Star has become an international standard for all products that are energy efficient. These products may include light bulbs, computers, computer peripherals and much more. Energy-efficient products save money by using less electricity. The Energy Star program has helped businesses save money through encouraging product manufacturers to produce management systems that are efficient.
Cut Back On Paper
Cut back on the cost of paper by reducing, reusing and recycling. A lot of documents can be sent electronically rather than printed. Electronic reports can be reviewed on laptops during management meetings. Meeting minutes can be sent out to attendees through email. An online fax service can help cut down on the need for a fax machine and a dedicated phone line. Online faxes are directed to the person they are intended for and can ensure confidentiality.
One of the biggest wastes of paper in many offices is incoming spam junk faxes. Whether they advertise vacations, Vistaprint or Viagra, junk faxes cost the senders nothing–but can cost your office a lot of wasted employee time as well as the obvious cost of paper. Unfortunately, there is precious little that can be done to stop junk faxes, as there’s no spam setting on most traditional fax machines that will prevent the faxes from printing. This is another reason that an online fax service is beneficial–employees can simply delete the faxes with the click of a button, rather than having to deal with the paper.
AT&T, despite being a fairly sleazy company that donates money to radical right wing groups and fights net neutrality, went green in order to save money and cut paper use just by switching its default setting on the its printers across the company to print on both sides (called duplex printing).
Paper that has only been used on one side can also be reused by turning it into scratch paper for quick notes, taking phone messages and jotting down ideas. Any document that does not need to be kept in a file or is not confidential can be reused as scratch paper.
Finally, all paper can be recycled. Confidential documents that do not need to be kept can be shredded and placed in the recycling box. Documents that have been used for scratch paper can also be discarded in the recycling box. Additional paper products that can be recycled include card board boxes, newspapers, magazines, mail, envelopes and directories.
The idea of allowing employees to telecommute has become an accepted business practice among companies. There are certain jobs that are ideally suited to telecommuting such as writing, customer service, sales and programming. Almost any job that only requires basic office equipment such as a telephone, computer and printer can be a potential telecommuting position. Employees who telecommute may need to come to the office on occasion, but they won’t need their own workspace.
A telecommute position is also ideal for employees. They save time and money by not commuting to the office on a daily basis. Their flexible schedule allows them to take care of their personal errands without having to take time off from work. Allowing employees to telecommute has been shown to improve employee morale in a company. It also helps the environment by reducing the number of cars on the road.
All businesses can find ways to save money and help the environment by going green. It can start in small ways like changing a light bulb or using an online fax service. It can mean company-wide policy changes in the use of electronic documents over paper documents. Companies can be creative in looking for greener ways of doing things.
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