Showroom Success: The Green Edition

If you read and implemented the ideas from our Successful Showroom blog post a couple of weeks ago, then you have a clean, well branded showroom. In honor of Earth Day this past Monday, April 22 let’s take it one step further and help your business reduce the waste it generates from daily operations.  Did you know the average American worker produces two pounds of paper and cardboard waste each day and approximately 10,000 sheets of paper waste each year? (www.cleanair.org)  Consider all the copies, disposable coffee cups, shipping boxes and other miscellaneous trash that your company contributes to the massive amount of waste created each day.  To help your business lessen the waste it produces, here are some ideas that are low cost, low hassle and can be as easy as changing a light bulb.

More than Paper and Plastic

At the very least, most businesses now recycle their paper, but what about all the additional items that you and your employees throw away that could easily be recycled?   Cardboard boxes, ink cartridges and glass products are a prime example.   Cardboard boxes in good condition can be reused to ship out other products, and printer ink cartridges only need to be taken to the local office supply store to be returned.

Only about 20% of glass is recycled each year and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be doing this as well – just collect and take to your local recycling collection plant for sorting.  Some recycling plants will even schedule a monthly pick up, so just call and check with the recycling plants in your area.  The best part is this is easy to set up and utilize in your business.  All you’ll need to do is set up a small area with collection containers and let employees know which products go in each container.  Another added benefit is that you may receive money back for the recycled products, or, in the case of the ink cartridges, discounts towards your future purchases.

Other ways you can supplement your ‘green’ activity in your office: give your employees reusable coffee mugs, and get rid of the Styrofoam cups, which are not biodegradable, or use cups for water instead of bottles of water and make double sided copies when possible.

Around the Showroom

One of the biggest areas of waste will be your showroom, but not in terms of what you are throwing away.  Before you leave each night, take a look at all the electrically powered items left on or plugged in.  You aren’t necessarily throwing anything physical into a trashcan, but you are wasting electricity by leaving on any lights, computers and plugged-in chargers that aren’t being used.  At the end of each day, make sure you and your employees turn off all computers and lights, and unplug all unneeded and unused equipment chargers.  According to www.energy.gov, which reviews and reports on the United States energy usage, you can save around $10,000 in energy usage each year if 10 employees all take the time to turn off lights and computers each night and on the weekend.  With savings like that, you can’t afford not to start turning your showroom green!

Other ways you can supplement reducing waste at your business: turn off water when it’s not in use (and check for faucet leaks), turn off the heating and cooling systems on weekends and switch your light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs.

Now you have a handful of ways to start going green within your showroom and office, but there are a lot of other things you can do to go green each day.  It’s never too late to get started.  For those of you that already implement green techniques, comment below with how your business reduces its waste!

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