Dear Dr. Terri K: I own a small business and I’m trying to be environmentally-responsible. We have an office with just 8 employees. Where should I start without breaking the bank? – MICHAEL
Michael: First, congratulations for caring about our precious earth. Here are some inexpensive suggestions which can make a big difference:
Use recycled and recyclable products. Conserve trees by using recycled office paper and toilet paper. When you buy a product – even computers – consider its recyclability. Be mindful of cell phones and batteries. Try to use rechargeable batteries.
Turn computers off at night. This may be common sense but sometimes we forget the simple things. Electronic appliances can draw 2 to 10 watts of power while they are plugged in, even when they’re turned off.
Cut down on driving. Encourage the use of public transportation. Set up a telecommuting policy and system so that people can work from home on certain days while you still get the deliverables needed. Lead by example.
Change the cups. If you have a kitchen or break room, ban Styrofoam cups. They not only clog the landfills, but they are also a Class 3 carcinogen. Instead, make a gift of a ceramic mug or a stainless steel travel cup to each employee.
Use natural air fresheners. Use natural oils and scents in the bathroom. If possible, open the windows for natural ventilation and add some houseplants to cleanse the air.
Remove carpets. If at all possible, stick to wood, tile or stone floors. Carpet traps toxic particles and can be an allergen for many people.
Today, take control of your immediate environment and help us save this planet. We each can use the Power of Choice!
Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA.
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