Green your Business
Tips to Green your Business or Office
Begin by picking overall environmental goals for the office such as:
Green Purchasing Policy
Build your environmental goals into a Green Purchasing Policy. Ideas for what can be included in your green purchasing policy, include:
- Set a minimum post-consumer recycle content for paper products;
- Purchase paper products that are processed chlorine-free to the maximum extent possible;
- Purchase only ENERGY STAR rated office equipment;
- Purchase remanufactured ink and toner cartridges and/or purchase ink refill kits;
- Purchase wood products, such as desks, that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC);
- Purchase environmentally friendly office supplies – most office chains have separate sections or labels for green products;
- Require your janitorial service to use green cleaning products and practices when cleaning your office;
- When outsourcing printing, recommend using green printers that provide FSC certified and/or post-consumer recycled paper content, and print with vegetable-based and/or soy inks in place of petroleum-based inks;
- Require the use of green lodging when traveling whenever possible;
- Require your food vendors and services to use only sustainable seafood.
- Do a free evaluation of your energy usage through FP&L
- Purchase only ENERGY STAR rated office equipment
- Install automatic turn off switches on lights
- Adjust your thermostat up
- Retrofit lighting to the maximum extent possible
- Hold compnay wide campaigns to get people to turn off computer monitors/and or computers at night, using signage and stickers, and email reminders -- or better yet, make it automated
- Where possible, install power off switches that can turn off a wide array of equipment when not in use
- Develop travel policy that encourages telecommuting, conferencing, and consider a 4-day work week when possible
- Develop a policy that creates an incentive to take public transportation and a disincentive to drive
- Promote commuting in partnership with South Florida Commuter Services
Reduce Waste (the steps are to Reduce, Reuse, then Recycle)
- Eliminate all disposable and over-packaged products (such as water bottles, plastic utensils, sugar and salt packets) and/or use bulk products to the maximum extent possible and/or purchase non-petroleum based disposal products – such as corn based plastic or biodegradable materials
- Use a double-sided copier and make double sided copies when possible
- Use email as often as possible, even for office memos
- Turn down contrast to save on toner
- Don’t make extra copies
- Reuse paper – double side as much as possible and set up a printer that has used paper for printing drafts.
- Reuse corrugated moving boxes.
- Reuse office furniture and supplies, such as interoffice envelopes and file folders.
- Use durable towels, tablecloths, napkins, dishes, cups, and glasses internally and at events when possible.
- Use incoming packaging materials for outgoing shipments.
- Establish a recycling program for paper, cans, bottles and plastic.
- Contact your building manager and/or current waste hauler. Most local waste haulers and private recycling vendors offer commercial recycling collection, so you can shop around to compare rates and services. If the building manager gives you trouble, explain that recycling is the law in Miami-Dade County.
- Properly dispose of and/or recycle old electronics.
- Install automatic faucets and low flow toilets.
- Use Florida Friendly Landscaping.
To the maximum extent possible you want to use products that:
- Have a low VOC content;
- Are made from renewable resources, such as bio-based solvents from citrus, seed, vegetable, and pine oils;
- Are biodegradable and;
- Have a low toxicity (Low flammability, e.g. flash point > 200 degrees F.
When cleaning, janitorial staff should:
- Limit use of disinfectants to areas where people are likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces (e.g., bathroom fixtures, doorknobs, other high-touch surfaces). Many general purpose cleaning tasks do not typically require the use of disinfectants (e.g., walls, floors, other surfaces with minimal hand contact).
- Use concentrated formulas with appropriate handling safeguards.
- Use refillable bottles and pump sprays rather than aerosols.
- Use dilution systems designed to reduce exposure to the product.
- Understand the proper use and disposal of the chemicals.