Let the New Year begin! While many will resolve to shed a few pounds, find a new job or get organized in the months ahead, there is one resolution that is easy to achieve, especially for businesses—to live greener in 2014. To help you get started, the experts with askHRgreen.org have compiled a top 10 list of ways to be a conscientious environmental steward throughout the year, every year.
Reduce Paper Use – Think twice before printing emails, share materials electronically, offer electronic funds transfer or direct deposit for your employees instead of writing checks and set your printer/copier to photocopy on both sides of the page. You’ll be amazed at the paper and money this will save!
Choose Tap, Not Bottled Water – Instead of serving bottled water at meetings and company gatherings, offer chilled tap water in glasses or tumblers. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, replacing expensive bottled water with clean, safe, tap water is good for the budget too. On the go, join our TapIt™network—TapIt gives you free access to clean water on the go through participating café and restaurant owners around Hampton Roads. Simply take your reusable bottle into any TapIt partner café and fill it up with clean, safe tap water for free! Click for partner locations in your area.
Get Involved – Resolve to be more involved in 2014 by joining local community clean-up events or sponsor your own event. Make it a corporate affair! Giving back to the community is a great way to build office morale.
Recycle – There will be plenty of junk mail, plastic containers, glass bottles, cardboard, etc., to go around in 2014. If you don’t have an office recycling bin, place one in a common area and make sure everyone knows what is recyclable. Generate a little healthy competition and see which department recycles most consistently.
Cut Energy Costs – There are a number of ways to trim dollars and cents off your office energy bills. Switch to efficient light bulbs, install a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature for peak efficiency, change air filters on a regular basis and look for the EnergyStar label when replacing old electronics and appliances.
Recycle Electronics – Give your old, unwanted electronics a second life by donating them to a second-hand store or recycling them with a responsible electronics recycler. For a list of national electronics donation programs, click here.
BYOB (Bring-Your-Own-Bag) – Help eliminate plastic bag waste. If you’re in the retail industry, train staff to ask shoppers if they need a bag at all when purchasing small items and encourage customers to bring their reusable totes. Find alternative uses for plastic bags around home or the office and recycle what can’t be reused.
Cut the Fat– If you operate a food service establishment, train staff to wipe plates before rinsing in the sink and implement best management practices for safely disposing of kitchen fats, oils and grease. This will keep both backups in your pipes and the plumber at bay!
Commute Smarter – Join a carpool, take the bus, ride your bike or walk to work. Try it once a week and go from there! Check out HRT’s Traffix program for more alternative transportation ideas.
Go Native in your Landscaping Routine – For your company entry ways, choose native plants and trees. These plantings are water savvy, have fewer pest problems and need less fertilizer than non-native plants. To view a guide of native plants in Hampton Roads, click here.
You’ll find a wealth of more green tips to implement throughout the new year at askHRgreen.org!