How We Are Earth-Friendly
Monday was Earth Day, a day that we are all encouraged to take a closer look at how we treat our planet and what we can do to improve it. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22 in 1970 and was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as a day to educate people about environmental issues. What started in the US has now become a global day of action, and it’s a very important day. Being a technology company, we weren’t sure what we could do to be more eco-friendly. Turns out, we’ve been working on that without even trying! Here are 8 ways we are helping our planet right from our office.
The biggest way we reduce our carbon footprint, and you can too, is by switching to cloud-based storage. We have a server off-site in a server room that connect online to our office and allows us to access all of our files from any computer in the office, as well as remotely from out of the office. This is more economical and ecological for the servers because we end up paying less per item for things like power and cooling costs because there are so many servers in on location, so it costs less per item.
It is beneficial in the office because any one of us can go to any desk and log in and have access to all of our information. This saves us from printing a bunch of things to bring to another room, or even take home. We log in, and it’s all there!
- VoIP Phone Service
We use, and sell, Voice over IP Phone service, or VoIP, this means phone calls are routed through the internet instead of a traditional phone line. Phone wiring is becoming older and outdated and is pricey to replace or fix, and some lines are not even being updated. With VoIP service, you don’t have to worry about those old lines! Your internet lines are being maintained by your internet provider, and they are spending big dollars to keep them up and running, especially as we rely more and more on our internet connection. It’s not just environmentally friendly either, it’s also more cost effective. Win-win!
- LED Lighting
About two years ago we went through our office space and updated almost all of our lighting to LED bulbs. It’s so much brighter, and the cost is way lower. We have also found that we are replacing bulbs less-frequently. In fact, in two years we haven’t had to replace a single bulb yet! The color from the bulbs is vastly different as well, the color is so much cleaner!
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: E-Waste
As a technology and communications company, we come across our fair share of e-waste. The first thing we try to do with old machines is reuse what we can. When your computer stops working, often times there are still parts that can be used. So we strip what we can to reuse it for other projects. What cannot be reused is sent out for e-recycling.
- Coffee and Water
We don’t have any coffee drinkers working here right now, but when we did, we made sure to use a coffee maker and not a single-cup pod machine. We do drink lots of tea and even some hot chocolate, and use a hot water pot for heating up that water. Canisters of your favorite drink, hot or cold, save lots of money and greatly reduce the waste over using a single-cup pod machine.
As for the water, we use the fridge. When we moved into this office space, we purchased a fridge that has a built-in ice maker with water dispenser. We all use water bottles or glasses in the office and refill from the fridge dispenser multiple times daily. We have estimated that we save almost 900 water bottles every year. The Pacific Institute estimates that twice as much water is used to product water bottles that to fill them (https://pacinst.org/publication/bottled-water-and-energy-a-fact-sheet/), which means we’ve saved 114 gallons of water just in bottled water packaging! We’ve also saved fossil fuels that are used to make the bottles and packaging as well as to ship them to the local store. And as an added bonus, it’s always cold!
- Recycle Cardboard and Paper
As a business, we get lots of solicitation mail from other businesses wanting us to work with them, as I’m sure you do at home as well. Everything we get and don’t need goes right into the recycling bin. We also recycle unneeded papers, cardboard packaging, bubble wrap, and packing pillows from office use as well as soup cans, juice bottles, and anything else we can from the kitchen. We often have more recycling than we do trash!
- Natural Cleaning Supplies
We have recently switched to using natural cleaning supplies instead of the chemical ones and love it! It’s great walking into a room that doesn’t smell like bleach and lemon-scented chemicals! It’s better for our lungs, the budget, and the planet!
- Reduce Paper Use
We have greatly reduced the amount of paper that we use in the office. We have cut back the paper that is used, printed, filed, and retained by 30% in the past two years. This saves time for our accounting department, saves space in our filing cabinet, and is better for the environment. The average office worker is said to use 10,000 pieces of paper per year! We’re doing our best to not be the average office and save some of the beautiful trees out there.
These are just a few of the steps that we have taken to help save this amazing planet we live on. If you would like more information on any of this, please let us know! We challenge you to take steps to protect the Earth. We all live on this plant and need to work together to find a way to keep it healthy - it’s the only home we’ve got.