The truth is that most people have a good handle on what is, and what is not, good for the environment. And contrary to popular belief, if given the choice a home owner will choose something that is environmentally friendly. We are seeing this as more and more people are turning to metal roofing because of its limited impact on the environment. Not only is metal roofing the most cost effective form of roofing material, it is one choice that is naturally capable of standing up to what mother nature dishes out.
Metal roofing is good for the environment in many different ways. First of all, it can be recycled and does not end up sitting for decades in a landfill. It can also be installed over existing roofing materials which make it great for reducing waste when being installed. Installing the metal roofing material over the existing roofing shingles adds an extra layer of insulation, which could help lower heating and cooling cost. The roofing will also make the home almost soundproof. The insulating effects of the old shingles combined with the metal will add that needed barrier against outside sounds.
Green is the ‘in’ colour at the moment and we’re being encouraged to be as eco friendly as possible from what we’re throwing out at home to the car we’re driving to our habits at the office. It’s the last one that most of us struggle with, it’s one thing sorting our bottles from our plastics in the kitchen and it’s easy to hop on the train or even cycle to work but implementing change at work can sometimes seem like an uphill struggle. It’s not just down to your boss or the MD; it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure your office carbon footprint is as small as possible.
No matter how digital your office is there are always going to be office supplies and these are one thing that many companies pay very little attention to. If your office is quite large there’s a good chance no one actually knows what supplies are left and what’s genuinely running low. Make sure everyone knows where the stationery cupboard is and encourage people to return any items they’re no longer using. You’d be surprised how many empty folders and unused paper clips are just laying on peoples desks. If a client has sent you a complementary calendar that you’re not going to use leave it for someone else to use otherwise you’re going to be ordering new ones throughout the year whenever you have a new starter. If your staff are struggling with this get them more involved, offer an incentive; the person who returns the most amount of stationery that week gets their tea or coffee made for them next week, or the person who requests the most amount of stationary without checking to see if it’s already in stock gets named and shamed on the stationery cupboard door.
This one is the most obvious one when it comes to making offices more environmentally friendly. Most email signatures will include a line asking people to think before they print it but this can always be taken further. If you have two or more printers in the office only have one with good quality printer paper and have recycled paper in the other, if the recycled one is everyone’s default printer they’ll have to make the conscious effort if they need to print on the ‘good stuff’. Depending on budget constraints you might even want to think about having a stock of tablet computers for your staff to use especially in meetings that require a lot of paper and a lot of notes to be taken, this way everything will be electric. In most offices it’s the receptionists and PA’s who use the most amount of paper and these will usually be the people who would benefit the most from something like a tablet computer.
Small electrical items like cell phones, blue tooth headsets and memory sticks tend to get updated or replaced on a regular basis. These are all things that can be either recycled or donated to a charity so they can be refurbished and used again. Don’t simply throw them away or leave them in a cupboard to collect dust, they don’t bio degrade and they’ll be sat in a land fill for hundreds of years. The same applies to old computers or monitors, make sure any sensitive data is completely removed and recycle them. It doesn’t take much organisation to put a bulk load in the post or drop them off at a collection depot every few months.
Don’t leave anything on standby
When you’re done with your computer at the end of the day, or you’ve finished using the projector at the end of a meeting make sure everything is completely powered down. Leaving anything on standby will be using almost as much power as leaving them fully on. If you don’t need it, shut it down. This is not only going to reduce your carbon footprint, but it’s also going to reduce your electric bill too. The same logic applies to screen savers; it’s just as easy to programme your computer to power down as to have a screen saver kick in after it’s been inactive for a certain amount of time.
Obviously you can’t have your staff working in the dark but at the same time it can be surprising how many people seem to be physically incapable of turning a light out when they leave a room. If you have rooms that aren’t in constant use, like a conference room or a staff room or even a corridor that doesn’t get much use consider installing motion sensors so the lights power down automatically when no one is around. It’s not practical (or safe) to work with direct sunlight shining on a computer monitor so take this into consideration when you’re designing the layout of the office. This way you don’t have to have the blinds drawn all day and you do not have to use anymore artificial light than necessary.
For a greener selection of printing material from business cards to flyers check out Solopress for great deals in recycled printing.
The world’s population is growing at an unprecedented rate. Between 1959 and 1999 the amount of people walking this planet doubled, from 3 billion to 6 billion. In addition, the wealth of the Western world has increased dramatically, with most of our developed nations now taking access to food for granted.
It is the problem of population, combined with our attitude towards food that is placing our topsoil in the midst of a crisis. And what’s worse, a crisis that is largely unspoken about. Topsoil is the uppermost layer of the earth’s soil, and it is this that is the nutrient rich soil that our plants and earth’s life requires in order to grow and flourish. The reality is that this depletion of topsoil is sliding us very close to the edge of a global food crisis.