It can be difficult in our day-to-day lives to practice sustainability. Even the small, personal things like remembering which plastic grades can be recycled and which can’t, forgetting to bring your reusable bags to the grocery store, or drinking iced drinks on the go with plastic straws can make it feel like going green is impractical and hard. So, how do you begin to make your business greener? There are a lot of places to start, like waste disposal, which can make the process overwhelming, today we want to give you some ideas about making your technology practices more sustainable in three areas:
- Energy Consumption
Switch out your light bulbs
Traditional light bulbs use a lot of energy, and produce a lot of heat, which in turn costs you more money. Newer light bulbs, like LEDs, will end up using less energy and are cost effective. You can read more about different types of light bulbs and why switching could be a better long-term choice on the Department of Energy’s website.
Automate your energy consumption
Another way to reduce your overall energy usage is to ensure lights and devices are turned off. Motion activated lights in conference rooms and offices can help save energy by making it impossible to keep lights on all day or night when rooms are not in use. Additionally, you could use smart power strips which make sure that plugged in devices don’t continue to draw power when they are turned off.
If you’re interested in reducing your environmental footprint you can start by setting guidelines for how you acquire new products and services. By updating your procurement policy to account for sustainability you ensure that you reduce waste. This can be as simple as working with vendors who have green policies in place or setting guidelines for energy efficiency standards, but it is important to factor environmentalism into the procurement policies of your business and to continually assess how well your company is meeting those standards once they are in place.
There are a few changes you can make to the ways in which you upgrade or dispose of technology in your workplace. First, you can set a policy for how long you hold on to devices before your employees would be eligible for an upgrade. If a device is functioning perfectly there is no need to update it just because there is something newer on the horizon. When it is time to dispose of your devices, you can look for companies that will recycle or reuse it properly. There are e-waste standards you can look for when selecting your recycler.
A lot of factors contribute to organizational practices on sustainability, and it’s important to not leave your tech out of the equation. If you’re looking to create a waste reduction project at your organization, you can also consider applying for a MassDEP Reduce, Reuse, Repair Micro-Grant which grants awards of up to $5,000 to be used to implement short-term waste reduction projects.