April 22nd marked the fifty-year anniversary of Earth Day, a global effort dedicated to our planet’s preservation.
These days, with most of us working from home, we’ve been able to cut down on our overall environmental impact.
Once things return back to normal (or, whatever the “new” normal is), making an effort to make our workplaces and home life more sustainable will be important.
Let’s take a look at some ways businesses can implement some sustainable practices.
1. Turn Off Lights and Devices
This may sound like an obvious tip, but your company can save thousands of dollars and reduce your carbon footprint if you turn off electronics and devices while they are not in use.
While you may be diligent with turning off the lights as you leave, some devices can use phantom power, meaning, devices that are plugged in but not in use still use electricity. This is common, especially in offices where you have printers, fax machines, and computers. While it may seem unrealistic to unplug every device before leaving, turning off your devices saves on energy. If someone is typically the last to leave the building, they could be the dedicated person who checks to make sure all the lights are off and the devices are turned off.
Opt for energy-efficient lightbulbs when possible to reduce your carbon footprint and energy bills.
Additionally, adjusting heating and cooling when the building is vacant is another way to save on electricity and energy.
2. Go Paperless If Possible
These days, a lot of companies are switching to paperless alternatives.
Digital filing systems are great because they reduce the amount of paper your company produces. They are also safer, easier to access and take up less physical space. If you decide to go for the paperless option, ensure that you take the proper cautions we’ve outlined in an earlier blog where discussed tips for how to work online safely.
A few tips for working safely online include:
- Use unique, unguessable passwords
- Avoid suspicious websites and links
- Always be careful with public wifi
3. Cut Back On Business Travel
With more companies working from home, less money is being spent on commuting time to and from work, as well as in-person meetings. A lot of businesses are able to have meetings and work as usual through the power of the internet.
Moving forward, reducing the amount of travel whenever possible would be effective in minimizing our carbon footprint.
4. Don’t Forget About Your Electronics
Recycling your old and used electronics helps the environment. E-waste is one of the fastest-growing forms of waste in the world, as there were 48.5 million tons produced in 2018. Keeping your electronics out of the landfill is an excellent way to help protect the environment.
It is important, however, to destroy the hard drive, as it can contain your personal information even if it was wiped. A hard drive can contain a lot of confidential information that could easily fall into the wrong hands. Before donating, giving away, or recycling your electronics, make sure you use hard drive destruction services.
5. Recycle and Shred Your Documents
Recycling the papers you do produce is important, but if the documents are confidential in nature, it is imperative that these documents are shredded. Laws dictate that sensitive documents must be shredded to maintain compliance with federal and state laws.
The good news is that, when you shred your documents, you are also ensuring that they are recycled properly.
By shredding and recycling paper, workplaces can significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Did you know that every ton of paper is recycled rather than thrown out 7,000 gallons of water, 17 trees, and 4,100 kilowatts of electricity? The benefits of recycling for the environment are endless!
We Can Help With Your Shredding Needs
Our team at Document Destruction of Virginia ensures all of your documents are shredded and handled efficiently. Once your documents are destroyed, they are then recycled. We care about the environment and we work hard to reduce our carbon footprint.
When you choose us you are choosing a service you can count on to get the job done right! For more information, send us a message online.