Green IT is defined to create more environmentally friendly ways to manufacture, use and dispose of computer equipment in our homes and offices around the world. The steps toward minimizing the environmental impact from our digital world is one that’s not as easy as it appears. When you realize how much computers are relied upon today and made in specific ways, it becomes complicated in changing their environmental footprint.
While the manufacturing materials of our computers probably won’t change in the immediate term, computers can still be recycled so the materials used in them can be used in new products. Unfortunately, the metals of gold and copper used in computers aren’t recovered as much as they should be. On Greenitweek.org, it’s noted that computers contain more chemicals than you likely ever knew, and those can end up in the environment when a computer isn’t recycled responsibly.
Here are some simple and easy steps businesses can do to support the Green IT movement:
- Purchase electronic equipment that is energy star compliant.
- Support electronics vendors who have a sustainability focus and program.
- Turn off all computers and electronic equipment at night. This can save over $100 per piece of equipment per year.
- Support electronics vendors who take back their equipment and recycle responsibly.
- Use an e-waste vendor to recycle electronics responsibly. You can find a national database of proper recycling centers for computers through the General Services Administration.
Green business operations is a growing trend in commercial businesses, this includes the products used to keep the office clean. Utilizing green products and equipment can reduce the number of health problems from fumes, allergies, and rashes in employees who work in the office. It is important to understand what chemicals to look for so they can be avoided. Only purchase products that have a complete list of ingredients. Here are some tips to help in choosing the best green cleaning products for a business environment.
Read the Label
This may sound pretty obvious, but not all cleaning supplies that are supposed to be green even list all of the ingredients. It is important to read the label and understand what it means. Avoid cleaners that have ammonia, chlorine or any other caustic chemicals. These create fumes that can irritate eyes and throat. The fumes linger so the people who work in the office are also being exposed. Green products should be PH neutral. All-purpose cleaners should be plant based solvents instead of chemical based solvents. When reading the label if there is a word or name that looks unusual be sure to ask what it is and why it is in the product
Look for Green Seal Certification
Look for the Green Seal certification on labels. This certification means the product has been tested and evaluated by a laboratory that is not connected to the manufacturer or seller, similar to a Consumer Reports style testing lab. To earn this seal the product must meet specific environmental standards, undergo rigorous testing and a visit to the plant where the product is manufactured. Once earned this certification can be displayed on the packaging, in promotional material and in advertising. These products have proven they are environmentally better than the competition.
Purchase from Reputable Companies
Only purchase green products from reputable companies, such as Seventh Generation and Simple Green, and make sure they can provide a complete list of the ingredients for the product. Just because the packaging says “green” doesn’t mean the product doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Be sure to check.
These are just a few tips to help choose green cleaning products. For more information contact us.
If you’re a sustainability professional, an excellent resource is available for you from 2 Degrees Sustainability Network, and it goes far beyond simple social media. It’s a true network of professionals and experts with programs, platforms and engagement methods that bring measurable results.
This network is free to join and offers avenues of engagement with peers online, as well as in-person, within the industry in a variety of valuable ways, including:
- Forums and Discussions: interact, share knowledge and collaborate with sustainability professionals from all around the globe
- Specialist Suppliers Marketplace: featuring sources for carbon management software, behavior change resources, renewable energy consultancy, etc.
- 2 Degrees Live Events: offering face-to-face discussions, where participants share and tackle sustainability challenges
- Resource Library: offers beneficial toolkits, webinars, case studies, legal documentation and more
- Client Programs: thought leadership and managed services to facilitate cost and risk reduction, enable growth and increase sustainability
2 Degrees offers practical problem-solving especially suitable for sustainability-committed companies desiring to exceed compliance, address resource inefficiencies and scarcities, meet customer expectations and leverage scale. Free membership provides access to over 31,000 international like-minded professionals.
Because Colorado continues to be a leader in small business implementation of environmentally-friendly business practices, our state has created an abundance of organizations and resources which can help guide a business in their sustainability plans.
Certifiably Green Denver
They can give free and confidential assistance with your environmental questions and concerns. Because they work specifically with the small businesses of Denver, they can give you knowledgeable information to help with avoiding environmental liability specific to this area, while not sacrificing your profitability.
Denver Energy Challenge
You can find information regarding rebates and also find help with your energy-saving efforts. You can even talk to an expert by phone Mon. thru Sat. (8:00AM to 6:00PM) at (720) 865-5520. These are the people to talk to if you are preparing to do an “energy upgrade” as they will help you throughout the process.
Watts To Water
This water conservation program recognizes and awards small business for their water conservation efforts. All hotels and offices with over 5000 sq. ft. of space can participate with minimal effort, but the benefits to your business are great.
Denver Regional Council of Governments
This organization focuses on enabling telework as an alternative to commuting which will help our community reduce pollution, ease traffic congestion and create higher levels of employee satisfaction. They can work with your company to help you implement a tele-commuting plan that can work in your situation.
The Colorado Carbon Fund
They have created the first, statewide, voluntary offset program in the U.S., with special attention paid to the GHG reduction projects in our state, which will mean verifiable and permanent carbon offsets.
Eco-officiency offers sustainability consulting services in Colorado and nationwide. We provide expert business advisors to assist organizations and individuals in becoming more sustainable in their work and personal lives. Contact us to discover how we can help you today!