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10 Solutions for More Sustainable Business Practices

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CC San Francisco Office By Creative Commons HQ Via Flickr

Businesses are among the worst polluters on the planet. The industrial sector accounts for nearly 50 percent of all the air pollution in the world, and that doesn’t count the damage done to the ecosystem through polluted streams and landfills.

Non-sustainable companies also struggle with inefficiency in their businesses because they use excess energy and resources, which drives up operating costs. Another survey showed that 55 percent of consumers are willing to pay more when they know the goods were produced with sustainable practices, and 71 percent of Americans think about the environment when they shop.

As these numbers suggest, going green makes excellent business sense nowadays. Most firms can find at least a few ways to make their practices more sustainable. Here are some ideas.

1. Go Paperless

Almost all your business processes may be handled online, from email billing to online sales. So go ahead and recycle your filing cabinets because you can substantially improve the efficiency and eco-friendliness of your business without killing trees.

2. Rely on Software

The solution for going paperless is to rely on software. For example, use QuickBooks for all your accounting functions, which is efficient and requires no paper statements. If there are ever any errors or problems with the software, online support can easily solve them.

3. Do Business with Sustainable Vendors

Making changes within your business isn’t enough. Your vendors should apply greener practices as well. You’ll be associated with your vendors, and going green without regard to their environmental impact could all but erase your efforts to go green and garner respect for doing so.

4. Implement a Reuse-and-Recycle System

Teach employees that the blue trash can is for recycling and other colors are for garbage. Explain how to recycle and reuse items whenever possible so your employees and firm can avoid filling landfills with more junk.

5. Use Biodegradable Cleaners

Toxins are still too often released into the air through the use of common cleaning supplies, which contributes to air pollution. Reduce your pollutants indoors by buying green cleaners.

6. Change Your Light Bulbs

CFL and LED bulbs are much more efficient, last longer, and don’t waste energy the way incandescent bulbs do. You can reduce your power bill significantly and decrease wasted energy.

7. Replace Outdated Equipment

Look for the EnergyStar rating on new print and copy machines, phones, computers, and other devices to replace old appliances that are sucking the life out of your energy bills.

8. Use Programmable Tech

Install motion-sense lighting that shuts off when there’s no movement in a room after a certain amount of time. You can also set the lights on a timer as a fail-safe to make sure no one leaves a light on after hours.

Programmable thermostats can be highly useful for your company. You can set the heat and air conditioning on a timer so that the system turns on during business hours and shuts down afterward. You’ll be amazed by the difference in your utility spending once these features are in place.

9. Try Green Web Hosting

Though it may seem as if online interactions are completely eco-friendly, that’s not necessarily the case. Green web-hosting companies participate in initiatives to reduce their energy consumption and encourage renewable energy initiatives. By supporting these hosting services, you also support the environment.

10. Get Rid of Plastic Bottles

An average of 32 million tons of plastic waste are generated in the United States every year. Instead of offering water bottles and paper cups in the office, give every employee a reusable water bottle that can be used for water while at the office, and then at home.

 

Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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