Pam Evans is the Green Business Coordinator for Alameda County where her team has certified approximately 400 businesses on adopting sustainable business practices. This program is putting money in business owners’ pockets by helping them identify and implement actions they can immediately implement that cuts their operating costs by cutting their emissions and waste.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to save money going green is in our offices. Here are three things you can do that will generate approximately 33-100% annual returns on your investment:
Install Energy Efficient Lights. The Edison light bulb is an energy hog. The light generated by our traditional light bulbs require a lot of energy compared to the new fluorescent and LED (light emitting diode) technologies. And they generate a lot of heat that requires running the A/C more during summer months. If you have Edison bulbs get rid of them and use Compact Flourscent or LED lights. Yes, they cost more. BUT, they save even more on your electric bill! If you have overhead fluorescent lights then install T-8 bulbs. And keep your eye on LED lights, they are coming down in price and can use up to 90% LESS electricity!
Downsize EVERYONE’s Waste Basket. You save money two ways. The first is that digital is cheaper (and more productive) than paper systems. The second is you are paying someone to cart away waste paper, probably priced on a volume basis. Less paper, less payment to the waste management company. An absolute best practices is to down size everyone’s trash receptacles. This more than anything I have seen motivates associates to go digital.
Cut Phantom Load. Phantom load is your computer you leave on after you “turn if off” at the end of the day. Estimates are that 5% of your electric bill is paying for electricity to run a computer or printer while NO ONE is in the office. How to solve this? You probably have these important digital devices connected to power strips. PUSH THE RED BUTTON ON THE POWER STRIP and put 5% of your electric bill back into your pocket!
Here’s my video interview with Pam Evans talking about all the ways you can make green going green in your office:
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017. His book The Secret Green Sauce profiles best practices of businesses making money going green. He is coaching hundreds of business owners in an 11-city program called Green Builds Business created by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation with funding from Walmart.