6 Tips to Make Your Business More Green

The typical office environment can waste a substantial amount of energy, and it can generate considerable amounts of waste unnecessarily. The reality is that you and your team could make a few smart changes that could have a dramatic and beneficial impact on the environment. If you are looking for smart ways to improve your office, these are a few green ideas that you can consider implementing soon.

Invest in Solar Energy

Between your computers, printers, copiers and other equipment, you may spend a small fortune each month on electricity costs. Lighting, HVAC usage, and other factors can further increase energy consumption. Rather than draw energy from non-renewable resources that generate considerable amounts of pollution, you could be drawing green energy from the sun. Many businesses have already installed solar panels to their building to offset at least a partial amount of their energy consumption, and this is a great solution for you to look into as well.

Upgrade Your Lights

Regardless of whether your facility uses green energy or not, it makes sense to upgrade your lighting to LED lights. These are more energy efficient, and they last longer. Because they do not need to be replaced as frequently, you can eliminate unnecessary waste in the landfills as well as waste associated with manufacturing light bulbs. This is a simple step that can have a considerable impact on the health of the environment.

Complete an Energy Audit

It can be difficult to determine which areas in your office consume the most energy. However, these energy-guzzling areas should be focal points for your conservation efforts. Through an office energy audit, you can identify which features are wasting energy unnecessarily, and you can take appropriate steps. For example, if you determine that your old HVAC or refrigerator in the break room are consuming a substantial amount of energy, replacing these items with newer and more energy-efficient models makes sense.

Allow Telecommuting

Your company’s policy on telecommuting may also affect how green your business is. Regardless of whether you have a team of educated individuals with online business degrees or you have a team of data entry specialists, their commute into the office and back home again uses non-renewable energy and causes pollution. When you allow telecommuting at least a few days each week, you can dramatically reduce this type of waste and pollution.

Donate Unnecessary Furnishings and Equipment

All businesses will need to get rid of equipment, computers, furnishings and more at some point. When the time comes to do spring cleaning around the office, consider donating or even selling items that are still in good condition. Doing so will stretch their useful life and may prevent objects from finding their way into a landfill.

Encourage Recycling

Another critical step to take if you are concerned about your company’s impact on the environment is to encourage recycling. For example, you can set up recycling trash cans around the office, and these receptacles can collect paper, aluminum cans and other recyclables that may be picked up by your city’s waste management department or taken to a local recycling center. Remember that many other items may be recycled as well, such as ink cartridges for the printers and toner cartridges for the copiers.

 

Most businesses can take at least a few steps to improve their impact on the environment in different ways. Analyze your current operation with these tips in mind. If you identify areas that could be improved, focus your attention on implementing beneficial change in your office. By doing so, you can make lasting changes that have a significant impact on the environment in the years to come.

Why Local Growing Works on an Environmental and Economic Level

Local agriculture is a key part of both sustainable growth plans and economic development. In most cases, the environment and the economy benefit from local, sustainable growing for the same reasons. Those benefits are causing this kind of agriculture to become more popular and used more, so it is important to have a basic understanding of the basics.

Conserving Fuel

The world wastes a huge amount of fuel to transport food and other agricultural products from farms to distant towns and cities. That is a necessity to support people in places that do not have any local agriculture, but it can be eliminated by moving the farms closer to population centers. Companies like doTERRA have utilized this method with their oils by sourcing directly from the growing regions and harvesters.

Doing so reduces fuel use, which offers two primary benefits. At an economic level, it reduces the cost of providing food, which allows for lower prices that enable families to save money for other purposes. It also helps the environment, both by cutting down on carbon emissions and reducing the need to drill for more oil to produce more fuel.

Secondary Income

Local agriculture does not need to be a full-time activity. While farmers certainly can support themselves by focusing on local products, individuals and families can also contribute by growing their own gardens in their yards or in local allotments. It isn’t very difficult to do, as proven by the success of the historical Victory Garden program. Personal gardens can produce a significant amount of food and help families and individuals save money.

Those gardens give families an additional source of income, either by selling the crops themselves, or cutting down on their grocery bill. Fresh fruits and vegetables are often the most expensive part of a family’s diet, so this can lead to improved nutrition and easier budgeting.

Localized Supply Chains

Businesses also benefit from local growing. Getting local access to those products can vastly simplify their supply chain, which reduces administrative costs and cuts down on the cost of transportation. The lowered costs bring more opportunities for new businesses, which can lead to economic growth in the community.

Growing Better Communities

Ultimately, growing food and other products locally is a tool that allows people to strengthen their communities. The economic benefits make the average consumer happy, while the environmental benefits make the area more pleasant for everybody. There aren’t very many other practices that merge environmental and economic advantages, so it is likely that local agriculture will keep expanding for a long time to come.

Is Renewable Energy a Realistic Option for Hospitals?

A growing number of healthcare centers are shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy as energy costs continue to rise and the government tightens the regulations on carbon emissions. Renewable energy refers to energy produced from natural resources including wind, sunlight, geothermal and biomass. Hospitals use around two and one-half times the power consumed by the average commercial building. They are, therefore, in a position to save more on energy costs by adopting renewable energy.

Pros of renewable energy in hospitals

Renewable energy can offer a lot of advantages to hospitals. Apart from the fact that it is a continual source of energy, here are some of the other benefits of switching hospitals to renewable energy.

1. Reduced energy costs

Although the initial investment costs are high, the cost of operation for renewable energy is much lower than that of fossil fuels once everything is in place. That reduces the energy costs for the hospitals thus allowing them to redirect the money to other projects such as offering tuition reimbursements to employees pursuing online nursing programs.

2. Improved public health

Non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and natural gas are associated with a variety of health problems including heart attack, neurological damage, and cancer. Replacing such sources with renewable energy will improve overall public health and reduce health costs significantly.

3. Environmental conservation

Renewable energy has a much lower carbon footprint than fossil fuels. Additionally, it reduces depletion of natural resources since it is produced from replenishable sources.

4. Stable energy sources

An increase or decrease in the fossil fuels supply directly impacts inflations. The cost of renewable energy only depends on the amount of capital spent on infrastructure and not the cost of natural resources. The energy prices are, therefore, stable.

Cons of renewable energy in hospitals

Hospitals can benefit immensely by adopting renewable energy. However, just like fossil fuels, it has its shortcomings. Here are some of the disadvantages of switching hospitals to renewable energy.

1. High initial investment

Setting up the infrastructure for renewable energy can be a costly investment. The costs are exceptionally high for hospitals since they use a lot of energy. For instance, a lot of solar panels would have to be installed to produce enough power to meet all the energy requirements in a hospital. Some institutions may find financing a renewable energy project difficult to do in-house.

2. Unable to produce enough energy

Renewable resources usually produce less energy in a short span compared to fossil fuels. The technology used in renewable energy production is relatively new, and factors such as weather may hinder large-scale energy production. That could significantly disadvantage hospitals, which have very high energy requirements. An average hospital in the U.S. uses 27.5 kWh of electricity and 109.8 cubic feet of natural gas per ft² every year.

3. Not available everywhere

The raw materials required for renewable energy production such as wind and solar may not be available in all locations. It means that we would need to create an elaborate infrastructure to transport that energy to hospitals in said areas.

4. Vulnerable

Almost all renewable energy sources are susceptible to weather conditions and other climatic factors. For example, abundant rain may hamper solar production while moderate winds may reduce wind energy production. Such circumstances could force hospitals to increase their energy consumption.


Renewable energy is becoming more popular with each passing year. It can enable hospitals to reduce energy costs significantly. Those that rely on renewable sources can stand out from the rest by demonstrating their commitment to environmental conservation and community health. However, this form of energy demands natural resources availability, favorable market conditions and government policy support to be considered an economically viable option for hospitals.

 

Resources

https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/alliances/hea_renewables_fs.pdf

https://bea.touchstoneenergy.com/sites/beabea/files/PDF/Sector/Hospitals.pdf

https://www.wgu.edu/online_health_professions_degrees/online_healthcare_degree

https://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/architecture/top-5-things-save-energy-hospitals/

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/increase-renewable-energy/fact-renewable-energy-is-reliable#.Wh2690qnFPY