Green Business Bureau Blog

 
 
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Sustainable Energy Office Tips And Guidelines

 
 
 
September 29, 2014 | By: Admin | No Comments
 
 
 

If you need to use energy with greater efficiency in your daily life at the office or you want to make sure your business uses less or uses more effective means, you will need a little help to make it happen:

  • Far too many people tend to keep the temperature of their thermostat too high. You would do well to keep it above 70°F (20°C) if you want to keep the costs down during the summer months. Even a few degrees can make a pretty serious difference when dealing with the heating or cooling bill.
  • A lot of heat loss around an office building happens through the windows, more specifically if they are single glazed. You would do well to address that issue if your office is in a building that has energy efficient windows and you use keep heavy curtains closed during the night all over the place to keep heat transfer to a minimum. You also need to ensure any curtains don’t hang over radiators, as they will allow heat to bleed out of the room they’re in, blocking most of it from actually warming the room.
  • You must also work on closing the doors if you want to separate heated from unheated areas, since this will help minimize the heat loss between. After all, there is no need to heat areas nobody works in, unless your office has central air conditioning.
  • Make sure you switch off any electronics and appliances instead of leaving them on standby. This will not only help you in the long run, but also you will have a chance to save up to 20% of the total electric bill. Vampire energy can be a constant drain on your resources.
  • You must make better use of your central air conditioning and its thermostat if you want to save energy. If it happens to be programmable, make sure you set it so it won’t run at its strongest during the night or make sure it turns on about an hour before work.
  • Use CFL light bulbs. They will get the job done with a fraction of the energy needed by a typical incandescent light bulb and they last a lot longer.
  • Kitchen appliances for your break room can be energy demanding, so you would do well to look for an energy efficient label when you make your purchase.
  • Insulation is also a very important, if not the most important part of keeping your office hot or warm. It will end up helping you save up to 40% of the total heating bill. Make sure you have everything insulated and do an energy audit if you feel you can improve upon what you already have.

 

About Ella Andrews: Ella Andrews is writer and blogger who has great passion for home and office improvement projects. She is constantly searching for new technologies and methods for life and work optimization. What excites her most recently is the green idea and she is trying to raise the awareness towards it via her writing. Find more useful info at: http://www.londonremovals.co/home-office-removal/wimbledon-SW20.html

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Eco-Friendly Kitchen Cleaner Recipes

 
 
 
September 06, 2014 | By: Admin | No Comments
 
 
 

The kitchen is the centre of almost any and every home, which is why it is of crucial importance that it remains toxin free. Using simple yet effective homemade cleaners is the best way to do this. The following are six cleaning recipes that will help clean and detoxify your kitchen all at the same time.

1. Liquid Dish Soap

The dish soaps you acquire from the supermarket will more than likely contain phthalates, which have been loosely linked to both lower sperm counts in men and possibly liver cancer. Side step these risks by making your very own liquid dish soap. Just mix castle soap, natural citrus cleaner and some fragrant oils, to make a product that is effective on grime and smells great.

2. Dishwasher Detergent

Many believe that the only dishwasher detergent that can be used is from the store, but this is simply a myth. You can make your own from home with just a selection of a few simple ingredients. Mix four natural ingredients in the form of salt, baking soda, lemi-shone and borax. Use the finished product in your machine to make sure that no harsh chemicals (such as triclosan) make it onto your dishes and cutlery.

3. Liquid Hand Soap

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a novice or amateur in the kitchen, odds are you will be dealing with raw meat and eggs at some point or another. This means you need to be thorough when washing your hands. Now you don’t need to take any risks with a chemical infused antibacterial hand soap, when you can create an effective alternative instead. Mix quarter part plain soap, two drops of peppermint oil and three-quarter part plain water in an old foaming dispenser. Then you will have made yourself a liquid hand soap that is suitable for all of the family to use.

4. All-Purpose Cleaner

Sometimes you just want a cleaner at hand that can tackle many house cleaning tasks; this usually takes the shape of an all-purpose cleaner. Pull together some loose orange peels, vinegar, salt and water. Together they will create a citrus smelling cleaner that can make a quick fix for cleaning stoves, sinks, floors and countertops.

5. Disinfectant Wipes

It pays to keep germs at bay and the easiest way to do this is via disinfectant wipes. Over the counter options are quick fixes, but if you want to do this via a non-chemical alternative there is now a recipe at hand to help you. Make some square cloths from some old rags and place them inside an old plastic container. Then make a disinfectant blend using one-cup water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, half a tablespoon of natural dish soap and eight drops of lemon oil. After mixing the solution, pour it into the plastic container and allow the rags to soak it up. Then you will have your very own non-toxic disinfectant wipes to use whenever.

6. Oven Cleaner

The biggest job facing any homeowner is cleaning the oven; it can also be one of the most chemically intensive tasks as well. Those who do it via such means are leaving themselves exposed to all kinds of nasty elements, including eye and skin burning chemicals. Thankfully, exposing yourself to such is no longer a necessity. Make your own non-toxic alternative by creating a paste. Mix half a cup of liquid soap, one and a half cups of aluminum free baking soda, quarter of a cup of white vinegar, three drops of lavender oil and one cup of water. Apply this paste all around the oven and let it get to work. After sitting for six hours, wipe it down and admire your freshly clean oven.

About Ella Andrews: Ella is writer and blogger who has great passion for home and office improvement projects. She is constantly searching for new technologies and methods for life and work optimization. What excites her most recently is the green idea and she is trying to raise the awareness towards it via her writing. Find more useful info at: http://www.springcleaners.org.uk/central-london

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How To Recycle Cell Phones

 
 
 
September 02, 2014 | By: Admin | No Comments
 
 
 

If you’re like many Americans, you probably have several products at your house that you no longer have use for and, admittedly, you probably have no idea what to do with them.

One of the biggest offenders is electronics. Printers that don’t work quite right, old laptops, and cords that belong to who knows what. But the most commonly held onto electronic is the cellphone. Not only is throwing them away wasteful, but Live Science says that it’s actually harmful to do so. E-waste (waste created from electronics and batteries) makes up “as much as 70 percent of the heavy metals in landfills, including 40 percent of all lead.”

Thankfully there’s a simple step that you can take to rectify the situation. To reduce your carbon footprint, consider taking part in Verizon Wireless’ recycle program.

There are two different ways that you can choose to recycle your old phone through the program. With the first, you can trade in your old phone and Verizon will issue you a gift card towards the purchase of a new phone or accessory. Because they adhere to a zero landfill policy, their first priority is to refurbish the phone. If that is not possible, they follow the proper procedures for correctly recycling the device.

With the second option, the phone will be utilized for their charitable organization, HopeLine. Founded in 2001, HopeLine collects used cellphones and similar devices, refurbishes them, and distributes them to those impacted by domestic violence. With the aid of a cellphone, victims and survivors have a way of reaching emergency services in the time of a crisis in addition to family and friends for support. It’s a vital link that many of us take for granted, but the phones can make all the difference for someone in need of a way to safely contact someone else for assistance.

Since 2001, the organization has collected more than 10.8 million phones and granted more than $21 million to domestic violence organizations. Over the years, they have kept 260 tons of e-waste and batteries out of landfills.

If you feel like keeping a backup cell phone around just in case something happens to yours, by all means. But if you have a drawer in your house filled with a variety of phones, some of which you can’t even remember using, then it’s time to donate! It’s quick, easy, and it’s really just the right thing to do. Not only will you be doing good for the environment, but it really is a great way to help out others people in need—one in four women, one in seven men and more than 3 million children in America are affected by domestic violence.

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How Going Green at Work Can Help the Environment, Your Employees & the Bottom Line

 
 
 
August 29, 2014 | By: Admin | No Comments
 
 
 

Businesses that incorporate sustainability into their core values are doing more than being good stewards of the earth; they are helping protect their communities, saving money and attracting green consumers and motivated employees. Companies going green include Canon U.S.A., Anheuser-Busch, 3M, Caterpillar and Pfizer, according to the EPA. There’s a business value in building sustainability into operations that’s part of the triple bottom line—increasing your financial, social and environmental performance.

Green Benefits

Businesses benefit from green operations and sustainability because nearly three-fourths of consumers consider a company’s environmental record as an important part of the buying decision, according to The Boston Consulting Group. Their study of approximately 9,000 people ages 18 to 65 in nine countries showed that consumers believe companies can have a greater impact with green initiatives than individuals, but still need to improve and increase their promotion of green offerings to make sure people know about them.

Effects on Employees

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) that includes going green is a big part of employee attraction, retention and engagement according to a 2012 study by Net Impact. More than half of workers surveyed said making an impact at work was important to their happiness, so much so that they’d take a pay cut to work for a company that makes a social or environmental impact, or an organization that supports their own values.

CSR boosts employee engagement by making them feel happy they are contributing to something meaningful. Communicating the opportunities and successes of environmentally friendly projects is good public relations but it’s also a good recruitment strategy that attracts top talent.

The EPA recommends engaging employees with green initiatives by asking for ideas on how to reduce the company’s environmental impact and encouraging their participation in building green practices. There are many areas to focus on including, but not limited to: air pollution, erosion, hazardous waste, energy use and resource use.

How Companies Are Going Green For Employees

Companies like Apple Rubber use green initiatives to commit to employee health and wellness. Stress management is a crucial skill employees should have, and by giving them the tools to do this in a green way, Apple Rubber is showing them they care. Their smoke-free wellness area is an outdoor gazebo made from sustainable materials and located in a beautiful, relaxing location to provide an oasis from work stress.

Georgetown University uses student-staff initiatives for its onsite renewable energy project, installing solar panels on university-owned row houses to generate the solar power that reduces thousands of pounds of carbon pollution.

Microsoft set a goal to substantially reduce its carbon emissions, and did so by investing in renewable energy and carbon reduction projects. The Microsoft Green blog, sustainability reports and information on its website are all vehicles in which the company shares its green practices with employees.

Dell, Inc. works hard to reduce its environmental impact with green power use and improved efficiencies such as building upgrades, power management strategies and its Planet employee resource group. For these initiatives Dell was a 2013 winner of the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award.

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Green Energy Saving Tips For Business

 
 
 
August 26, 2014 | By: Admin | No Comments
 
 
 

When you’re powering your office and you use the local power grid, few business owners ask themselves what source the energy comes from and whether it’s good for the environment. There are however a great many ways one can save money and also be eco-friendly in the process. The following tips will give you a few ideas on how you can make it happen without too much hassle, finding new and alternate ways of handling things with greater self-sufficiency in mind:

  • Switching to Green Energy

A great and logical solution would be to work on contacting the service provider or power company and to ask them about green energy options. Companies all around are moving toward the green energy model for a number of reasons, working with solar or wind power as either self-sufficient or supplementary power supplies. Prices may vary according to each company, but you will still have a great chance to become more self-sufficient even in times of crisis and power outages.

  • Solar power

There are two ways of handling solar power – passive and active. Solar cells are what’s most often used to take advantage of the solar rays, whether by using them as a supplemental system for your local power grid or to store power in solar. Passive solar systems on the other hand will help heat up and light up your office through mirrors and smart positioning on your walls and roof with collectors. Check in with the city’s construction laws before you move on to this option.

  • Wind Power

Depending on where your office building happens to be located and the local weather patterns, you can make great use of wind energy in your area. It works great in areas where winds are strong and steady, so you will need to consider this option and research its cost-to-efficiency ratio before you move on to this solution. The strong winds in some areas around the world can lead up to 80% of cost reductions for electricity, so this is a great way of improving things.

About Ella Andrews: Ella is writer and blogger who has great passion for home and office improvement projects. She is constantly searching for new technologies and methods for life and work optimization. What excites her most recently is the green idea and she is trying to raise the awareness towards it via her writing. Find more useful info at: http://www.springcleaners.org.uk/central-london

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Save Your Business Energy and Money

 
 
 
August 06, 2014 | By: Admin | No Comments
 
 
 

Businesses that maximize the energy efficiency of their facilities save money and help the environment. Energy Star, the Environmental Protection Agency’s energy efficiency program, reports that commercial buildings in the U.S. spend $107.9 billion annually on energy costs, and use energy unnecessarily or inefficiently 30 percent of the time. Energy Star estimates that reducing 10 percent of business energy would save $20 billion—the equivalent of emissions from almost 30 million vehicles.

There are plenty of easy ways to reduce business energy use for heating, air conditioning, and lighting and electricity—put these tips into practice and you’ll be on your way to becoming an environmentally friendly organization.

Heating and Air Conditioning

Paying close attention to the heating and air conditioning system in your office can help save energy and expenses. Keep equipment operating efficiently to save money and conserve energy. Use an annual maintenance contract that provides regular service to prepare for cooling and heating seasons, this will extend the life of the equipment, and prevent the need for emergency service calls.

Use these tips to keep HVAC use at top efficiency to save energy:

• Keep clean filters in HVAC equipment. This simple measure can improve indoor air quality and helps prevent clogging or overworking the equipment.

• Block direct heat gain with window shades, solar films, awnings, or strategically planted trees and shrubs. Sunlight coming in through large office windows concentrates the sun’s rays and heats the air, affecting the efficiency of air conditioning and interfering with balanced air temperature.

• Strategic use of indoor fans can delay the need to use air conditioning before it’s necessary, and fans help make the most of conditioned air when equipment is in use.

Lighting and Electricity

Computers, lights, alarm systems, some phone systems, office equipment, and production machinery all require electricity when in use. Businesses can maximize the efficiency and reduce energy use and expense by using Energy Star products with energy efficient designs and operation.

The EPA recommends managing office equipment energy use by powering down equipment at the end of the day, using power management features on computers, and plugging electrical cords into power strips to prevent energy drains, as well as turning off all lights and equipment at the end of the workday. The EPA estimates that using computer power management, where computers go into sleep mode when not in use, can save up to $50 per computer per year.

Consider using green power generated from renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Check the EPA’s Green Power Locator to see if green power is available in your area.

Office Depot’s recommendations to save energy and money on electricity include using compact fluorescent bulbs, and Energy Star qualified lights rather than incandescent bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer and save up to 75 percent on energy use. They also recommend using daylight rather than lights powered with electricity when possible.

Other Ways to Save

Save energy with a programmable thermostat that automatically regulates heating and air conditioning to cut costs when the business is closed. Prevent “temperature wars” by locking the thermostat, so only authorized staff have access and provide employees other ways to regulate the temperature in their areas, such as fans.

Raise awareness of energy use and engage employees in overall efforts to save energy and money. The Carbon Trust makes employee engagement easy with access to efficiency guides, savings advice, awareness campaign materials, and energy savings calculator.

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