(Help Me Rhonda!)®
There are hundreds of ways businesses and individuals/families/communities alike can establish green practices. Below is an ever-evolving and growing list of practices and information that I feel are relatively easy to implement, for the most part not cost prohibitive, and can make a big difference in a relatively short period of time.
- Office paper, cardboard (broken down), printer and toner cartridges, aluminum cans, glass and plastic containers, packaging material, advertising and junk mail, newspaper, telephone books, and more. Check with your local recycling company for what can and cannot be recycled
- Take bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts to UPS or other packaging stores - they love it!
- Check with your local Household Hazardous Waste facility for how to recycle appliances, batteries, medicines and e-waste
- JACO - for a small fee will pick up and recycle many household appliances and operates in 8 states including California
- GreenDisk, Inc. - will recycle disks, cd's, etc. 800-305-DISK. Mail in items. There may be a small fee.
- Set up separate bins for recycled items and garbage throughout your business
- Educate and encourage management and janitorial service to recycle
- Use a reputable document shredding and recycling company
- Donate unwanted furniture, electronic equipment and so forth
- Set up an in-office compost bin
- Offer composted material to employees for their home gardens. Or better yet, build your own office garden!
Eliminate Junk Mail
Encourage Suppliers to Reduce Packaging and to Use Recycled Packaging Materials
Buy Recycled and Green Office Products
- Recycled Ink and toner cartridges
- Recycled office paper products; pens and pencils - yes - they exist!
- Biodegradable tableware
- Recycled bathroom supplies, such as toilet paper, paper towels, etc.
- Used furniture
Use Biodegradable and Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
- Encourage building maintenance, management and janitorial services to use them!
- Hire green carpet and drape cleaners
Conserve Water (and the energy to deliver it)
- Install low-flow toilets, faucet heads, shower heads
- Here's a great non-toxic water saver for the toilet if you can't install low-flow toilets - Drop-A-Brick
- Plant drought resistant plants or encourage property owner(s) to do so!
- This link was suggested by a very environmentally-committed young girl - https://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/kids/tips
- Install energy efficient lighting systems, including compact fluorescent lights (CFL's)
- Install Energy Star equipment, such as HVAC, water heaters, etc.
- Set computers and monitors to go into stand-by mode after so many minutes to use less energy
- Turn off power strips for equipment that does not need to have juice all the time, such as printers, etc.
Conserve Fuel and Prevent Pollution
- Take public transit and encourage employees to do the same
- Set up telecommute programs for employees whenever possible
- Bike to work
Green Web Hosting and Domain Registration
- Choose a green and sustainable service provider for your website domain registration AND to host your website
- Green web hosting companies typically offset their electrical use with wind energy and employ other sustainable practices as well
- I have partnered with Canvas Dreams and can personally recommend them as a truly reliable, green and sustainable web hosting company that offsets 100% of its electrical usage with renewable, wind energy from wind farms in Oregon. Click Here for more info or to order any of their web hosting services.
Invest in Renewable Energy
- Install solar panels - yes this can be very costly upfront, but will definitely pay off in the long-run.
- ConsumerAffairs compiled a comprehensive guide to deciding whether or not to choose solar - Click Here for the Free guide
- Check with your local utility company for renewable energy credit programs
Choose Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Building Methods and Materials
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Become a Certified Green Business
- Check your local county and/or city to see if they have such a program
- Not only will you achieve the satisfaction of being a certified green business, but these programs typically promote their members - at no cost to you!
Patronize Green Companies Locally and Nationally
- Whenever possible, support your local certified green businesses
Encourage Employee Involvement
- Give employees one day a month off to volunteer in a charity of their choice
- Create in-house contests or programs to encourage employee participation in green practices
- There are many successful green and socially-responsible companies, funds and programs available for people to invest their hard-earned money - with positive returns!
Fair Trade Practices
- First - heres an explanation of Fair Trade from Co-Op America:
"Fair Trade is a system of exchange that honors producers, communities, consumers, and the environment. It is a model for the global economy rooted in people-to-people connections, justice, and sustainability."
- Implement fair trade practices in the workplace
- Support businesses employing fair trade practices both locally, nationally and internationally
- Buy products from green and socially-responsible companies.
- Use the book entitled Better World Shopping Guide to help guide your purchasing power. This book provides a comprehensive list of well-known companies and their ratings in green and socially-responsible categories.
- I have partnered with a wonderful company called ECOlunchboxes - www.ecolunchboxes.com. Founded by Eco-Mom Sandra Harris, ECOlunchboxes makes and sells Eco-Friendly Lunchware including Stainless Steel Food Containers and 100% Cotton Artisan Lunchbags. All products are non-toxic and made by Fair-Trade or family-owned businesses in India and Thailand. For a 10% DISCOUNT on all RETAIL purchases, please go to www.ecolunchboxes.com and at check out, include the coupon code of HMR to receive your 10% discount! And for wholesale inquiries, please email Sandra Harris at email@example.com. Happy Waste-Free Lunching!
- ECO-Learning Legacies, founded by Candia Lea Cole, creates and sells Eco-Lifestyle Education Products to families, organizations, and green businesses that promote "the ecology of personal and planetary well-being." Ms. Cole has developed engaging on-line curriculum and learning trainings that feature beautiful and inspirational books, audios, videos, games, whole food cookbooks, teaching posters (e.g., Tabletop TUTORS™) and much more! For more info and how to contact Ms. Cole, please go to http://www.eco-mentor.com and www.ecointelligenteating.com.
- Parent & Child Magazine - Green Living: A Family Guide to Green Living - http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/collection/global-awareness/green-living-family-guide-to-going-green
Wonderful Information Submitted by Children!!!
- Going Green in Your Home! I received a delightful email from Ms. Roberts in Lexington, Kentucky that her Girl Scout Troops were preparing for their Go Green Badge and came across my website. They asked if I would add the following link which is chock full of information for going green in your home! Thank You to the Girl Scout Troops in Lexington, Kentucky! You Go Girls!!! Here's the link: http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Going-Green-in-Your-Home.17326.html.
- Another wonderful email I received was from Ms. Kent who is a mentor at her local community center. She and the kids she mentors wanted to thank me for this page and asked me to include another webpage they have been using and find most useful. I'm happy to share it here! http://www.bbcleaningservice.com/get-clean-go-green.html. P.S. - because of their wonderful work and commitment to helping to green our beloved planet, Ms. Kent promised them a surprise pizza party! You go guys!!!
- Going Green at Home - submitted by a very environmentally-committed young girl - https://quiethut.com/go-green-at-home/
Join Green and Sustainable
Associations and Organizations
- Get involved in your local green community
- Join national organizations for even more resources and exposure
Helpful Links/Info from Our Friends Across the "Pond"!
Attend Green and Sustainable Events Both Locally and Nationally
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