You don’t need to be a superhero to save the planet. NASA states that global temperature is 1.9 degrees F higher today than in 1880; 12.8% of arctic ice is lost each year. While some believe this is the result of natural, unavoidable cycles, no one denies that the activities of modern society have contributed pollution and carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
There’s plenty that individuals and organizations can do to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their impact on the environment. Nonprofits can be at the forefront of the conversation to reduce their environmental impact and lead by actions in the fight against climate change.
10 Steps to Take to Reduce Pollution and Waste
- Green your commute: The EPA states that the transportation industry, which includes personal automobile usage and other vehicles, is a substantial contributor to smog, soot, and poor air quality. Encourage workers to walk, cycle, or take public transportation to work.
- Allow telecommuting: Telecommuting could potentially save a lot of fossil fuels and reduce pollution emissions by allowing workers to remain at home and contribute their talents via technology. With so many excellent technology solutions including cloud-based programs, video conferencing, and more, there’s no reason why many jobs cannot be completed by home-based workers. If 32 million Americans worked from home, they would save over 74 million gallons of gas and the pollution created by producing gasoline from crude oil, transporting it to gas stations, and burning it during driving!
- Use energy-efficient lights: Change out older light fixtures for energy-efficient LEDs. Consider adding motion-detected sensor lights in areas that may go unused for hours each day, such as a lunchroom or storeroom.
- Change the thermostat: Install a programmable thermostat in your office and drop the temperatures during non-work hours to a low setting in winter and a higher setting in summer to save heating and cooling costs.
- Have HVAC systems serviced: If you own the building you work in or are responsible for the HVAC system, schedule regular maintenance, including changing filters and cleaning the system. This can improve the efficiency of the system and save on energy costs. Talk to building maintenance about your concerns if you aren’t responsible for HVAC maintenance and share with them information on how a clean system is an energy-efficient one.
- Reduce paper waste: Ask employees to scan and share documents rather than print them out. Use recycled paper and recycle wastepaper after shredding sensitive documents.
- Unplug electronic devices: Unplug computers, printers, and copiers when not in use. Make it a point to unplug everything on Friday evenings or before long weekends.
- Ditch the single-serve coffee: Coffee machines that use individual pods are convenient and give workers a choice, but also create a lot of waste. It might be time to return to the communal coffee pot.
- Eat local: Although not an office-wide initiative, encourage employees to choose locally grown foods and try to order lunches from places near the office to reduce the travel time and energy used to move food from one place to another.
- Consider a weekly potluck: A weekly potluck lunch would encourage employees to dine in and not use their cars to go to buy lunch. It’s a fun way to save energy from automobile use while promoting social time—and sharing good food!
Whether you’re a climate change supporter or skeptic, everyone can agree to reduce pollution and waste. What’s good for the environment is good for the human race and all who live on planet Earth. You don’t need to be a superhero to save the world. All you need are new ideas to take to save energy and reduce waste.
Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you with your accounting needs. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.