Welcome to the Green Age, ladies and gentlemen. 100 years ago, society was far more concerned with finding ways to procure energy, versus trying to save it. However, things have drastically changed in the span of a century. With the economy in shambles, the world population quickly rising, and the threat of global warming looming near, it has become mandatory for every individual and business to make a concerted effort to become more eco-friendly and sustainable.
Upgrade the Lighting
One of the first things you must do is carefully evaluate your energy consumption. For instance, how much energy is your interior lighting system using? By replacing T-12 lamps (the long ones you commonly see in schools) with T-8 lamps, you can reduce your consumption by 20%, while also achieving improved lighting with less flicker.
In addition, if you replace traditional tungsten bulbs with recyclable, compact fluorescent bulbs, you can save over 640 kWh of energy over its lifespan, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Also consider investing in lighting motion sensors. These innovative devices automatically shut off the light in a room if no activity is detected after five minutes. (Save even more with LEDs, and learn all about efficient lighting in the new book Green Lighting
Use Sleep Mode
Speaking of energy consumption, did you know that by either turning off all your machines or putting them into sleep mode prior to closing up, you can save at least $72 per machine, per year? Not only does this keep more money in your pocket, but it also saves on vital energy.
According to researchers, in fact, if every computer system were shut down at night, the United States could potentially shut down 8 power generators, meaning overall carbon dioxide production would be reduced by 7 million tons. Also ensure that all your desktops and laptops are Energy Star certified.
Regulate Office Temperatures
Another factor to consider is heating and cooling. TIME Magazine reports that the energy spent to keep office temperatures regulated accounts for a whopping 70% of all energy consumption. Obviously, it's important that your employees are comfortable. However, if your office is empty on the weekends, then consider installing a programmable digital thermostat.
This will allow you to schedule your heating and cooling system to automatically shut down or slow their activities during evening or weekend hours. Also consider covering your windows with blankets during the winter, and covering them with solar shading panels during the summer.
Recycled Office Furniture
One simple but innovative method of making your office more sustainable entails using only used office furniture. Not only will this save you a bevy of money, but it'll also inadvertently help reduce waste. Instead of being hauled off to a landfill, the furniture will end up in your office.
However, don't for a moment think that relying on recycled office furniture means sacrificing quality décor. There are countless companies that specialize in providing high-quality interior decorating services with used furniture. And they are often willing to provide a substantial discount to business owners trying to go green.
In-house Laundry Services
Another overlooked way to go green is to promote in-house laundry services. Everybody must keep his or her work clothes clean. You can either purchase your own office laundry machine, or setup an in-house team to collect and then wash all your employees' work-related laundry. Research shows that many employees use their laundry machines multiple times a week just to wash their work clothes, which amounts to an egregious waste of resources. By bagging their individual clothes in mesh laundry bags, and then washing several bags in one washer/dryer set, you'll make quite a difference.
These are just five ways to make your business sustainable. If you're truly dedicated to making this world a better place, then take the time to perform further research. More importantly, make certain you employ all the methods you've learned. It's up to every one of us to make a difference.
Sven Salmonsson writes for Totallytop10.
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