April 27, 2013 Leave a comment
Cross-posted from The Green Suits:
Happy Earth Week, everyone!
The Green Suits, LLC is happy to report that our resource sustainability improvements continue. In First Quarter 2013, we further reduced printer paper usage (from 500 sheets/6 weeks to 500 sheets/7 weeks). And replaced more burned out bulbs with LEDs. From our Sustainability Page:
Here are some of the sustainability practices we currently follow (updated April, 2013):
- We dramatically reduced paper consumption from 500 sheets/1.5 weeks (First Quarter, 2010) to 500 sheets/7 weeks (First Quarter, 2013). One continuing factor in the improvement: setting our network printer to automatic double-sided printing. Practically all of our written correspondence is electronic; contracts and other documents that we once faxed are now scanned and transmitted as PDF files. We no longer have a fax line. And we surface mail business correspondence only when it is absolutely necessary to do so;
- The old computer we replaced was “wiped clean” of data, then donated to an authorized computer recycling center;
- We consume filtered tap water. And (not so fresh) dog-bowl water is poured onto the drip lines of thirsty outdoor plants instead of down the drain. Further, we make sure toilet pumps are properly set and toilet flappers are not leaking (if they are we replace them, immediately);
- Our computers are turned off when not in use. To further increase efficiency, we employ power management hardware;
- Because they are fragile and contain mercury, our compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)–which replaced our energy-robbing incandescent bulbs in 2008–are on the way out; now, we replace our burned out CFLs with LED lighting. Unit costs of LEDs remain high but prices are dropping fast–the screw-in bulbs we recently bought at Costco range in price from $17-$25 each–but they remain cool to the touch and do not require much energy to operate. Plus, they will last 20-25 years. A key consideration in purchasing LED lighting is the “lumens” value of the bulbs (the intensity of the light) as well as the light projection pattern produced. Not all LED bulbs are the same. Nevertheless, we are very pleased with the ones we have;
- In the winter our automatic thermostats drop to 65 degrees. We wear layers! Summers in the Washington D.C. area have been some of the hottest-on-record so we must use air conditioning. But we set our automatic thermostats at 78 degrees. To provide further cooling we have planted some fast-growing shade trees at our southern exposure;
- Our experiments with composting continue. For instance, we spread used coffee grounds around the drip lines of our acid-loving outdoor plants. A tumbling composter is on our wish-list of future purchases;
- We have surpassed our goal of recycling 50 percent of our post-consumer waste (plastic, newsprint, glass, and metals);
- We promote virtual office capabilities, mass transit stipends, and other environmentally friendly practices;
- And, we utilize best-in-class telepresence services, including video-conferencing (e.g. Skype, Apple FaceTime) and interviewing that save thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket travel and entertainment expenses annually. As a result, our company has yielded a substantial carbon footprint reduction.
Baby American Robins photo ©2005 Dan Smolen