Eco-friendly Business

first_imgThe average office tosses out about 350 pounds of paper per year per employee. Reducing paper usage and buying paper with post-consumer recycled content can go a long way to reduce any company’s carbon footprint. Photo cred: FogStock/ThinkstockEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: I own a small business and would like to do what I can to minimize its impact on the environment. Can you help me?                                                — Jacob Levinson, New York, NYThere are many ways to green up any business, large or small—and an added benefit might just be saving money. Just like individuals, businesses can measure their carbon footprints to get a sense of where they are starting from and to get some initial ideas of areas to focus on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a free “Simplified GHG [greenhouse gas] Emissions Calculator” to help small businesses get started. Another option is to enroll in TerraPass’s “Carbon Balanced Business” program, which helps commercial entities measure and then offset the greenhouse gas emissions they are responsible for generating.Beyond carbon footprints, there are many other things businesses can do to minimize their environmental impacts. The non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that, first and foremost, businesses should shift the paper paradigm—the average office tosses out about 350 pounds of paper per year per employee. “Reducing your waste and purchasing paper with post-consumer recycled content can help save trees and nudge the pulp and paper industry, one of the most environmentally destructive industries in the world, toward a less damaging path,” NRDC reports. Some easy ways to do this include: setting printers to use both sides of a page (or designating a “draft tray” filled with paper that’s blank on one side); buying copy paper with a 30 percent or more post-consumer recycled content; collecting used paper separately for recycling; and stocking bathrooms with post-consumer recycled tissue products.Getting more energy efficient is another way to save the Earth while saving money too. NRDC recommends taking advantage of the fact that most utilities offer free or inexpensive energy audits, whereby an engineer examines operations and provides a report about how to save on energy costs. Turning off lights and electronics at the end of the work day can save bundles of energy. “Plug all your appliances into a power strip and you’ll only have to flip one switch at the end of the day,” suggests NRDC. Also, setting computers to “sleep” or “hibernate” when inactive will further reduce a business’s footprint. And NRDC says to lose the screensavers: “Flying toasters and slideshows can use up about $50 of electricity in a year.” Lastly, when shopping for new office appliances, look for the EnergyStar label which means that the federal government has rated the particular unit highly in terms of energy efficiency.Cutting water waste will also make a business run greener. The group says to install faucet aerators and low-flow toilets, check for and fix leaks, landscape with water efficiency in mind and recycle gray water where applicable for nonpotable uses such as watering gardens.Lastly, NRDC suggests creating a greener work environment, given that “employees are on the front lines of any sustainability initiatives” a business chooses to make—perhaps by creating a green team “with members from all divisions of the organization to help implement plans and bring new ideas to the table.” Those looking to take their businesses down a green path should consult any of the free “Greening Your Business” guides on NRDC’s website.CONTACTS: EPA, www.epa.gov/climateleadership/smallbiz/footprint.html; NRDC Greening Your Business, www.nrdc.org/cities/living/gbusiness.asp.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.last_img read more

This Wynnum home embraces the coastal lifestyle

first_img69 Kingsley Tce, WynnumA garage and workshop takes up most of the lower level but it also has a rumpus room that could double as an office, and a combined laundry and bathroom. Outside, there is an entertaining deck, spa and garden with fruit trees.“It’s a lovely home with a beautiful garden,” Mrs Wray said 69 Kingsley Tce, WynnumMrs Wray said they wanted to be close to the waterfront and they liked the facilities in the area, including the parks and Manly Village.While they are a few streets back from the Esplanade, Mrs Wray said the two-storey home felt like it was closer to the ocean. 69 Kingsley Tce, WynnumAn open kitchen, dining and family room is at the heart of the home, which sits on a 607sq m block.It has four bedrooms, the master of which has an ensuite and walk-in wardrobe. 69 Kingsley Tce, Wynnum“We do have a bit of a view too.”Polished floorboards and VJ walls are among the traditional features that have been maintained through renovations. 69 Kingsley Tce, Wynnum“It’s all open, from the front to the back,” Mrs Wary said.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020She said the bay breezes and natural light flowed through when they opened the French and bi-fold doors at both ends of the house.“The bay breezes are just beautiful,” Mrs Wray said. 69 Kingsley Tce, Wynnum“I love my kitchen and the back deck – we spent a lot of time out there.”She said the backyard was big enough to extend the home in future if the new owners wanted to.“We considered that if we weren’t going to move,” Mrs Wray said. 69 Kingsley Tce, WynnumTHIS contemporary Queenslander in Wynnum embraces the coastal lifestyle.Tess and Steve Wray had been searching for the perfect home in the area when they found the property at 69 Kingsley Terrace 11 years ago.last_img read more