Who Profits From Recycling

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Who Profits From Recycling

Recycling In America: More Than Just A Feel Good Experience

Recycling leads to far more than entitled consumerism, when done right it is capable of producing significant results.

Given the gravity of the environmental crises we face, it is very easy to be cynical about small scale activities like recycling, but even these small gestures, if repeated often enough, can amount to major savings for the planet.

Recycling minimizes landfills which emit global warming causing methane.

In the U.S. there is one day per year when recycling is recognized as part of a national event. November 15 is America Recycles Day (ARD), a day to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling.

This event was started by the National Recycling Coalition in 1997.

ARD has helped millions of Americans become better informed about the importance of recycling and buying products made from recycled materials.

Through ARD, the National Recycling Coalition helps volunteer coordinators organize events in hundreds of communities nationwide to raise awareness and educate people about the benefits of recycling.

Recycling In America: More Than Just A Feel Good Experience
Recycling In America: More Than Just A Feel Good Experience

Financial Impact Of Going Green
Corporate responsibility infographic

Waste and Recycling

Events like ARD are important because the U.S. has dreadfully low recycling rates.

In 2008, only 7.1 percent of the 30.05 million tons of plastic waste in America was recycled.

Compare this to the plastics recycling rate of around 70 percent found in leading countries such as Germany and Japan.

Although well behind many other countries, overall recycling rates in America have doubled in the past decade.

There are over 9,000 curbside recycling programs throughout the US, which has steadily increased since the 1970s.

Although Americans are recycling more than ever, they still have a long way to go.

Even though studies show that 81 percent of Americans agree that recycling is an important service, recycling efforts in the U.S. lag far behind their potential.

Americans generate 30 percent of the world’s garbage, only one third (33.8 percent) of total waste is recycled, and only about half (53.4 percent) of all paper products are recycled.

Despite relatively low rates of recycling in the U.S., there is a global demand for recycled materials.

Countries like China have demonstrated that there is a market for America’s recyclables.

It is estimated that 76 percent of California’s polyethylene terephthalate (PET, the dynamic material found in beverage containers) is exported to China and converted into a variety of products which are then sold back to U.S. buyers.

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Value of Recycling

As revealed in a UNEP report, a relatively modest investment could radically increase recycling rates.

According to the report, an investment of $108 million in the global waste sector annually could increase recycling rates threefold by 2050 and reduce landfill contents by more than 85 percent.

Recycling offers tremendous savings. According to the EPA, recycling one ton of aluminum cans saves the energy equivalent of 36 barrels of oil or 1,655 gallons of gasoline.

A single aluminum can saves enough energy to power a television for three hours.

By recycling aluminum cans, 95 percent of the energy can be saved, compared with manufacturing a new one.

Despite these startling statistics, the National Recycling Coalition reports that every three months, Americans discard enough aluminum into landfills to rebuild the entire U.S. fleet of commercial airplanes.

When it comes to paper, 4,100 kilowatts of electricity and 7,000 gallon of water are saved for every ton of paper recycled.

And using recycled glass consumes 40 percent less energy than using new materials.

The amount of energy saved from recycling aluminum and steel cans, plastic PET and glass containers, newsprint and corrugated packaging was equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by 17.8 million Americans in one year or 11 percent of the energy produced by coal-fired power plants in the United States.

Laws and Regulations

There is no national law that mandates recycling in the U.S., although many state and local governments have introduced recycling requirements like laws that establish deposits or refund values on beverage containers.

Other jurisdictions rely on recycling goals or landfill bans of recyclable materials. Some cities enforce fines upon citizens who throw away certain recyclable materials.

On a national level, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees a variety of waste issues.

These include regulation of hazardous wastes, landfill regulations, and setting recycling goals.

More specific recycling legislation is localized through city or state governments.

Landfill bans make it illegal to dispose of certain items in a landfill while other states focus on recycling goals.

Electronic waste in the U.S. is being addressed with regulations at a state and federal level.

Ninety percent of US e-waste is exported to China and Nigeria.

Corporate Involvement

Some corporations are providing electronic take back and recycling programs.

Take back programs offer low-cost to no-cost recycling, some even provide monetary incentives for recycling.

In one way or another, many companies are getting involved with recycling programs.

Dell, Sprint and Sony have agreed to help the Environmental Protection Agency encourage certified electronics recycling, as part of the Obama administration’s national strategy to encourage better e-waste management.

Target rolled out a massive nationwide recycling initiative with centers at the front of each of its 1,740 U.S. stores.

The recycling stations accept aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers, plastic bags, MP3 players, cell phones and ink cartridges.

A review of the beverage industry, titled “Waste & Opportunity: U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report” by the shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, gave Nestlé Waters North America the highest rank out of the major companies.

In particular, the firm received the highest score on container recovery for establishing better recovery goals than its peers and having stated tactical strategies for attaining those goals.

Companies are also contributing to recycling education including award-winning Recology, a San Francisco-based resource recovery company.

Government Programs

Under the EPA strategy called the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (pdf), the federal government’s purchasing arm will only buy IT products that comply with environmental performance standards, and will ensure that all government electronics are reused or recycled properly.

The strategy also commits the federal government to promote the development of more efficient and sustainable electronic products; support recycling options and systems for American consumers; and strengthen America’s role in the international electronics stewardship arena.

San Francisco’s recycling program has a zero waste goal by 2020 and in 2009, they were already at a 78 percent diversion rate.

While programs like this are not yet widespread, their success proves curbside recycling does not always result in a market failure.

Sanford, a town of 21,000 in southwest Maine has tripled recycling rates while reducing expenses 50%.

The town implemented a trash metering system that requires residents to pay by the bag for curbside collection.

According to projections, this will save the town about a quarter of a million dollars in garbage tipping fees.

Over 150 municipalities in Maine and many other towns and cities across the U.S. are employing a trash metering system.

WasteZero is one such program, they work with about 300 cities to transform their waste management systems.

This has had the dual effect of reducing their landfill waste about 43%, while collectively netting about $65 million in avoided disposal fees or revenues from recycled materials.

Economic Incentives and Jobs

Powerful economic incentives are not the only reason to recycle.

Recycling reduces costs to businesses and creates jobs.

The American recycling industry is a $200 billion dollar enterprise that includes more than 50,000 recycling establishments; it employs more than 1 million people, and generates an annual payroll of approximately $37 billion.

As early as 2003, cities like Fort Worth Texas were making millions from their recycling program.

Similarly, by 2004, Waukesha County Wisconsin was operating recycling programs at a profit.

Guidelines

Obstacles in the way of wider adoption of recycling practices commonly relate to a lack of coordination between design and recovery.

This is a major obstacle in creating closed loop recycling systems for materials.

It is helpful to consult technical guidance on designing packaging to be compatible with common recovery methods.

The non-profit organization GreenBlue has developed design for recovery guidelines.

These guidelines apply to the design and recycling of aluminum, steel, glass, and paper.

The logic of recycling is overwhelming; it can earn revenues, prevent greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy consumption.

Brazil’s recycling efforts are a $2 billion a year industry that avoids 10 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

If America’s recycling rate doubled the country would save enough energy to supply the electricity needs of 36 million Americans for an entire year.

Recycling is about more than simply feeling good about yourself, recycling is about contributing to an effort that can make a real difference.

Who Profits From Recycling
Who Profits From Recycling

Via: RecyclingBin.com

Reasons to Start Recycling

There are many Reasons to Start Recycling.

Gone are the days when recycling was looked upon as a hippy fad.

With recycling bins now being provided by the local council, the process of sorting out old materials to turn into new goods is officially mainstream – and about time too.

If there was ever a simple solution to protecting the environment and promoting a sustainable future for our children (and children’s children) then this is it!

Here’s a closer look at the reasons to get started recycling as soon as possible:

Preserve our natural resources

If the fact we could run out of raw materials doesn’t worry you, it should.

Yes, it might be something that won’t occur in our lifetime, but it’s a real worry for generations of the future – and we have the power to make a difference now.

Recycling reduces our dependency on the earth’s natural resources and allows time for replenishment of its supply.

Products made from recycled materials also use far less water.

Reduce pollution

Did you know that recycled paper results in 25% less pollution in the air and 75% less pollution in the water then ordinary paper production?

Global environmental changes are hard to ignore and it’s frightening to think that the way we consume materialistic goods is part to blame.

Using recycled products and recycling our own goods is a great way to take responsibility for all the pollution we are inevitably exerting.

Save money

Whilst there are certainly costs to effective recycling, the price of raw materials is becoming higher and higher as they are more difficult to find, extract and process.

Recycling can actually save us all money.

It’s even possible to make money out of recycling; whether you choose to sell old computer parts or sell clothes for cash.

Online auction sites and recycles make it possible to find a new home for disused items and profit financially without having to work the car boot sales.

Reduce landfill

Landfill is still the biggest form of waste management, with around 55% of municipal waste finding its way into the ground each year.

Nearly 32% of the UK’s methane emission is from landfill waste, with methane gas being over 20 times more harmful to our environment than carbon dioxide!

Not only that, but we’re running out of places suitable landfill sites here in the UK.

The only way to shift our dependency on landfill, is to recycle wherever possible.

Create jobs

Recycling is not only great for the environment, it’s beneficial to the economy too – with jobs being made in renovation, repair and all the other process of recycling.

If you want to keep promoting these new job opportunities, you need to not only recycle items yourself but choose products made from recycled materials too.

Helping those in need

Not only is recycled advantageous to the environment, but it can be an effective way of helping others in need.

A lot of recycled products are sold by charities and community groups looking to raise funds, whilst charity shops are an easy way to recycle your own disused clothes and help others at the same time.

Recycling on the US–Mexico border

The United States (US)–Mexico border is one of few places in the world where a developed country has a common border with a developing country.

The US economy is 25 times larger than Mexico’s and US income per capita is nearly 10 times that of Mexico, according to the World Bank.

Recycling on the US–Mexico border
People at the Mexico-US Fence. Photo by Nathan Gibbs.

This economic disparity has created an intense flow of goods across the border in both directions, including recyclable materials, such as cardboard and aluminum.

The markets for recyclable materials in both countries differ markedly. In the US, the supply of recyclables usually exceeds domestic demand, while it is the opposite in Mexico.

While the US has thousands of local recycling programs, Mexico has few. Mexican industry shows a strong demand for recyclables due to significant differences in prices for virgin and secondary materials.

For example, the Mexican paper industry can import market pulp (wood pulp used to make paper purchased at market prices) from the US or Canada, or, alternatively it can consume domestically recovered or imported wastepaper. Imported market pulp is seven times more expensive than domestic wastepaper.

In Mexico, however, because there are few recycling programs, demand for recyclable materials usually exceeds supply. This has stimulated an active international trade of recyclable materials between the countries. The US is the world’s largest source of recyclable materials and the largest exporter.

The North American Free Trade Agreement eliminated most tariffs on recyclables, which increased US exports to Mexico from 700,000 tonnes in 1993 to 1.6 million tonnes in 2005.  Exports have diminished from that peak in 2005, but they could rebound with economic recovery.

Cross border flow of recyclables

Recovery of recyclables in Mexico depends largely on the efforts of thousands of scavengers who collect recyclables from the streets, containers placed curbside for collection, dumpsters, transfer stations, open dumps, composting plants, and from landfills.

Income affects the waste generation rate and composition of the waste stream. Upper and middle-income individuals tend to generate more waste than their low-income counterparts. And the waste they generate tends to contain a greater percentage of recyclables, such as metals, glass, paper, and plastics.

For Mexican scavengers living on the US–Mexico border, the garbage generated in US border towns is richer than any in Mexico. Many of the materials and items discarded by US residents and businesses are valuable and considered a resource across the border in Mexico.

So, Mexican scavengers can achieve relatively high incomes by recovering waste materials in the US. However, access to this “rich” garbage is restricted, and not everyone can gather recyclables in US border towns because Mexicans wishing to cross the border need a US visa, which is very hard to get for low-income individuals.

There are three types of scavenging activities carried out by Mexicans in the US:

Scavenging for self-consumption

In this type of activity, individuals salvage items from the waste stream to satisfy their own needs.

They recover food with expired consume-by dates, but still in edible condition, from US shopping centers and grocery stores.

They also roam US residential neighborhoods, looking for discarded furniture, appliances, clothing or any other item that can be reused or repaired.

Some Mexicans cross the border into the US to gather construction and demolition debris from construction sites, as well as from homes being remodeled.

They salvage discarded sheet rock, door frames, window frames, and even toilets, which are taken to Mexico and re-used in building their homes.

Recovery of materials for sale to consumers

Since many low-income Mexican border residents lack a US visa, they cannot cross the border and they are unable to gather usable items.

Some enterprising individuals recover discarded items in order to sell to people unable to cross the border.

Recovery of materials for sale to industry

The most common recyclable materials gathered by Mexican scavengers in the US are cardboard and aluminum cans.

Cardboard collectors are popularly known as cartoneros.

Most American border towns have a commercial district near the border crossing that caters to Mexican consumers.

The city of Laredo, Texas, has had over the past several years some of the highest retail per capita sale rates in the US, and Mexicans account for about 65% of those retail sales.

Cardboard and aluminium

Retailing generates a lot of cardboard. The discarded cardboard is clean and the cartoneros never come in contact with mixed wastes while collecting it. They simply pick it up, load it onto their vehicles, transport it across the border and sell it in Mexico for recycling.

These are nearly ideal conditions for scavenging: it is relatively safe; scavengers can earn a respectable income; it involves no significant risks to the cartoneros’ health; and, they are not harassed by police or looked down upon by people.

A study in the neighboring towns of Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico found that Mexican cartoneros recover approximately 682 tonnes of cardboard every month, with an economic impact of nearly half a million US dollars a year. The typical cartonero earns the equivalent of three times the minimum wage in Nuevo Laredo (about US $15/day), which represents a higher income than that of many factory workers and employees.

The average cartonero has been recovering cardboard in Laredo for 14 years and engages in it on a full-time basis. It is a stable activity that has allowed them to raise a family. Most cartoneros consider their working and living conditions as fair/good, according to interviews I conducted for my 2007 book The World’s Scavengers: Salvaging for Sustainable Consumption and Production .

Mexican scavengers also recover aluminium cans in the US. Popularly known as buscabotes (literally: can seekers), this group salvages aluminium cans from dumpsters located in public spaces, street waste containers, residential garbage placed curbside for municipal collection, or simply littered on the streets. Some buscabotes recover cans on a full-time basis, while the majority of them do so in their spare time to earn extra cash.

Collecting aluminium cans is not as lucrative as collecting cardboard. Most buscabotes must roam through several neighborhoods on foot carrying a sack or plastic bag containing the cans. They spend a considerable amount of time walking in their search for cans, which lowers their productivity, and ultimately, their earnings. The Mexican buscabotes operating full-time in Laredo, Texas, for instance, earn the equivalent of only 64% of the Mexican minimum wage.

However, not all recovery activities carried out by Mexican scavengers in the US are beneficial to American communities. Sometimes Mexican scavengers steal aluminium cans from recycling bins placed curbside. They simply extract the cans before municipal collection.

This theft of aluminium cans diminishes the revenue for municipal recycling programs. As a result of persistent theft of recyclables, 220 cities and 33 counties in California have recycling programs with anti-scavenging provisions. Individuals stealing recyclables in these communities could be prosecuted and incarcerated.

Recycling by businesses

In addition to scavenging, there are also established businesses that purchase reusable items and recyclable materials in the US and sell them to Mexicans. Some businesses operate on the US side of the border but cater to Mexican shoppers. Low-income Mexicans constitute important customers for thrift and second-hand stores located on the border.

Poor individuals purchase used furniture, appliances, clothes and kitchen utensils in US stores and then take them across the border. Most US border towns have stores that specialize in selling discarded clothing in bulk to mostly Mexican customers. Any unsold clothing is purchased by Mexican companies to make industrial cleaning rags.

On the other side of the border, many stores in Mexican border towns sell second-hand US consumer products, such as refrigerators, stoves, washing machines and dryers. These appliances often have to cleaned, refurbished or repaired before selling them.

Some Mexican businesses obtain discarded items in the US and sell them in Mexico as construction materials. Entrepreneurs purchase from US construction and demolition companies, particularly in California and Texas, discarded items such as old door frames, window frames, wood/vinyl panels, sheet rock, toilets and bathroom fixtures to be sold in Mexico. Discarded wooden pallets and plywood are also used in Mexico as construction materials to build shanties.

In many cases, homes in California and Texas are dismantled, their components taken across the border and reassembled in Mexico. Over the past few years, the recovery of discarded garage doors in California has become very popular. The doors are taken to Mexico, where they serve as walls and roofs for low-income housing.

Cross border business-to-business transactions in recyclables also exist. Scrap dealers in Texas purchase waste materials from the assembly plants (maquiladoras) located in Mexican border towns. The assembly plants sell iron and steel scrap to the dealers, who in turn sell it to steel mills in Mexico for recycling. The dealers also purchase old metal parts from the factories in Mexico, take them across the border to their warehouses in the US and sell them back to Mexican companies as spare parts.

Go with the flow

In conclusion, the economic disparity between Mexico and the US has created very different markets for recyclables in each country. Mexico has a steady and strong demand for recyclables from the US, which has stimulated international trade in scrap. The availability of high-quality reusable and recyclable materials in the US as well as Mexican demand have also resulted in a complex system of informal cross border recovery involving scavengers and businesses.

We know very little about the economic impact of this informal cross border flow of recyclables, but it is likely to be several million dollars a year, and benefit many thousands of Mexicans.

What we do know is that it is mutually beneficial: it satisfies a need in Mexico, provides income opportunities to Mexicans and some Americans, and reduces the amount of waste that needs final disposal, thus saving in disposal costs, and extending the life of landfills. These cross border activities benefit both countries and should be actively supported.

Such cross border activities also exist in other border areas, such as Mexico–Guatemala, Colombia–Brazil, and China–North Korea. Individuals from the poorer country cross, sometimes illegally, into the more prosperous cities in the neighboring country in order to recover recyclable and reusable items.

A more active trade in second-hand products between developed countries, such as Japan and its neighboring developing nations, could be mutually beneficial. But attention should be paid so that this is not used as an excuse to ship unusable items to developing countries.

All about the importance of recycling

The importance of recycling is getting greater with time as the world is approaching closer to global warming. There are so many reasons to recycle. Learn about things such as wood waste recycling and asphalt shingle recycling too. It is a magnificent way for us to return the nature its resources in the best possible way so that it can be reformed and re-used by us. Before we get into further detail, let us all get clear with what exactly recycling means. It is the process of collecting, separating, reforming and reusing the materials of our bin.

Rubbish is made up of things that we throw away because we do not want them. It is also called waste. In first world countries, each person throws away a sack of waste every 10 days that a village of 350 people would produce in one week.

We throw all kinds of things away. Our waste includes paper, cardboard, glass, bottles, metals and plastic. Kitchen and garden waste and old clothes and rags are also thrown away. We throw away more garden waste and paper than any other product. Most of the things we toss in our garbage cans can be recycled which would help the environment.

Ways to produce less waste:

Reduce: Reducing means cutting down on waste by using less in the first place. For example, we could use less packaging. Some foods are wrapped in plastic, but instead we could buy them without packaging. Also, while going for shopping if we carry a shopping bag with us, we would reduce the use of a plastic carry bag for our shopped items. We can also reduce reading things online instead of printing them. Reduce the use of water for a bath, shower and washing dishes by turning the tap off in the right time. You can also install water-conservation toilets which greatly reduce the amount of water used.

Reuse: We can use things again instead of throwing them away. We can promote reusing as a practice starting from our homes. There are good examples to get inspired. You can donate your unwanted clothes, books, toys to orphanages, church collections, and other social centers for people in need. You can start having an exchange program within your friends. If you are done reading a book, you can exchange it for a book that you have not read with your friends. Instead of buying containers for kitchen ingredients, you can reuse the bottles of empty ingredients to store the new ones. Another way of recycling could be to use hard boxes and colored wrapping sheets to be used as handicraft items or for wrapping presents.

Recycle: After the consumption or use of the material it can be reformed to be used again. And the importance of recycling is huge when it comes to the well-being of our planet. There are several ways we can do recycling at home. For example, we can keep our kitchen organic wastes in a pot to reform it to become organic compost for our garden plants. If you have large pieces of metal, you can take them to be scrapped. At the very least, it is easy to separate plastic, paper, glass and aluminum waste for community recycling.

Learn about asphalt shingle recycling

Asphalt shingle recycling is a booming industry. Asphalt shingles are a commonly used material that can be found in roofing and re-roofing material in the United States. If you are considering re-roofing your home, be sure to use a reputable company such as Seneca Creek Roofing.

As per statistics presented by the national association of home builders, approximately 7 – 10 million tons of shingle tear-off waste, including installation scrap, is generated annually. This indicates that the same quantity would go into the asphalt shingle recycling processes.

The process itself must be carried out with attention, as US federal law prohibits the recycling of asphalt shingles that contain asbestos. Therefore, for environmental and health reasons, a major concern pertaining to asphalt shingle recycling will always be the occurrence of the naturally occurring mineral, asbestos, which is commonly used as part of fire-proofing the roof of a house.

A dedicated processing facility must have a licensed permit in order to operate. Due to the potentially harmful particle emissions that will occur during the recycling process, due care needs to be taken to ensure that the health and safety of employees is not compromised.

A point to be noted while asphalt shingle recycling is the associated elements such as roll roofing, adhesives, waterproofing compounds or paints, which do in fact, contain asbestos. Care should be taken while recycling, and the waste stream from the recycling process should be managed in order to cause only minimal environmental damage.

On a more positive note, studies have shown that Asphalt Roofing Shingles, or ARS have immense recycling potential, especially in US states such as Connecticut, which generates approximately 2,800 tons of scrap as a result of asphalt shingle recycling on an annual basis. It is easy to distinguish from other roofing and demolition materials, and the recycling process saves money that would otherwise be invested in raw materials for infrastructural necessities such as pavements.

The state boasts of 4 fully licensed and functional facilities, which carry out asphalt shingle recycling, and the positive outcome of this are additional LEED points; LEED is an internationally-approved certification system which gives out points based on environmentally-safe manufacturing and recycling processes.

The actual process involved with asphalt shingle recycling is intense; the first step involves grinding the asphalt. This is done best under conditions that ensure the asphalt is brittle, so cold conditions are preferred. The next step involves sizing; ideally 2” or 3” – minus size pieces are obtained through using basic grinding equipment.

Once this is done it is important to grade the shingles; for this the shingles might need to go through a sieve. The final, and most important part of the process involves the removal of all contaminating agents and contaminants. Some contaminants include nails and pieces of wood; the former is removed via rotating magnet process, while the latter is put through a water flotation unit, or in some cases, is also removed manually.

Among some of the uses of asphalt, post the intense asphalt shingle recycling process, are fuel, aggregate road base, cold patches for pothole repairs, and Hot-mix Asphalt or HMA additive.

Learn about wood waste recycling

Wood waste recycling refers to the reuse or reallocation of wood waste into various departments where wood chips, boards, and even shavings, are used for a wide range of purposes. Contrary to popular opinion, wood waste is not merely meant to be burnt or thrown away because its quality, thickness, and size do not conform to the original purpose for which it was meant.

Wood waste recycling ensures for example, that post-construction OSB waste material is converted into board products. This is one of many examples of how wood waste recycling increases the use and benefit of wood in various forms.

One of the biggest benefits of wood waste recycling, is that is greatly reduces the physical space that is otherwise consumed by wood in landfill spaces. Given the rising costs of haulage and increase in landfill taxes, many wood related industries and ancillary companies have prioritized wood waste recycling in order to save money which would otherwise have been waste on paying a landfill to store their waste products.

Instead the companies have adopted an environment friendly and business-minded approach by incorporating wood waste recycling, through which the waste wood product is reused, thus providing them with higher profit margins, which are always more beneficial than the losses they would otherwise have incurred at the landfill.

Wood waste recycling need not always involve machinery, or any other process that requires it to be mashed to a pulp (for example, wood pulp is used to make paper, a process requiring machinery, manpower, and money). Recycling by its basic definition endeavors to ensure that a particular material is used to its maximum potential, up to the point where it is no longer of any use.

Wood being the durable material that it is, is already a common material in furniture items such as tables and chairs. Among some do-it-yourself wood waste recycling projects that are carried out by enthusiasts and environmentally conscious citizens, are the processes which turn bits and scraps of wood into furniture items such as the aforementioned tables, chairs, benches, wine bottle holders, hook  boards for coats or keys, and a wide range of other uses.

In this way the wood is being used instead of being thrown away, and the user is getting a handy furniture item that is no doubt, useful and also costs much less money than a regular article of furniture would cost at a shop. In this way, wood waste recycling and the results of it are creatively inspired, aesthetically-pleasing, and also save more trees from being cut down.

Wood waste recycling has become popular among those who dabble in the fashion, interior design, and the environmental activism field. Concerted advocacy efforts and dedicated media campaigns that promote recycling and encourage people to save rather than cut trees, make use of creative results of wood waste recycling in order to push the message across.  A number of kitsch designers proudly display their collections which contain the creative results of their wood waste recycling efforts.

Reasons to recycle

Growing environmental issues and global warming have given the average citizen many reasons to recycle their waste products and reduce their global footprints. Recycling by definition refers to the process of sorting out waste products, which can be reused with the purpose of extending their life cycle. By collecting commonly used materials such as plastic, metal, paper, clothing and biodegradable waste, and then reusing them or upcycling them, one is doing a service to the environment as well as facilitating other benefits.

Primary reasons to recycle

One of the biggest environmental concerns that are affecting our planet involves global warming. Recycling ensures that industrial production is minimized, thereby reducing the emission of harmful air pollutants that are otherwise transmitted to the air and environment during production. Air pollution reduction especially in developed countries is among one of the main reasons to recycle as it is necessary to reduce the gases which otherwise deplete the ozone layer.

Thanks to industrialization, landfill overcrowding is common, and is another reason to recycle. For example, reusing plastic and glass bottles will save landfill space. As per statistics, the average American discards close to 8 pounds of garbage daily, the process of recycling would greatly reduce this load.

Other reasons to recycle

The primary disadvantage of mass manufacturing of goods involves waste products, which in turn cause harm not only to the air and ground, but also harm the health of human beings and animals in general. Survival constitutes perhaps one of the most important reasons to recycle.

Many natural disasters have occurred due to the cutting of too many trees and spillages of toxic materials into natural water bodies where they have poisoned both aquatic life as well as humans. Animals and birds have lost their natural habitat due to deforestation, and much valuable land is wasted or rendered unfit for agricultural production due to the soil being doused with chemicals and fumes from nearby factories and manufacturing units.

The production of certain goods also leads to the production of accompanying fumes and smoke, which cause irreparable damage to the environment.

Reasons to recycle should include factoring in the need to undo as much of this damage as possible by reducing the need to manufacture products. By simply placing well-labeled trash collection bins in areas, which will allow citizens to dispose of their trash responsibly, one can easily disinfect, recycle and reuse items, which would have otherwise been manufactured in bulk at great cost to the environment.

Also relevant among the many reasons to recycle, is the fact that it will teach the younger generation to be more responsible and thoughtful when it comes to ensuring the wellness of their planet. With the rise in illnesses due to increasing pollution and other environmental factors, it is important to raise awareness through example by making recycling a compulsory part of the education process and by clearly bringing forth the risks of not doing so with the help of media and other agencies.

Largest Recycling Operation in the World

Republic Services, Inc. has announced that it is constructing the largest and most extensive multi-stream material processing system in the world. The plant was previewed by media and community VIP’s on Thursday, August 9th 2012.

The facility is located at Newby Island Resource Recovery Park 1601 Dixon Landing Road, Milpitas, California.

Republic’s world leading recycling operation can process up to 110 tons per hour of multiple waste streams. This facility sets a new standard for the recycling industry. The facility will process all of the commercial waste generated by businesses in San Jose.

Republic Services provides recycling and solid waste collection, transfer and disposal services in the US and Puerto Rico. The Company’s various operating units, including collection companies, transfer stations, recycling centers and landfills, are focused on providing reliable environmental services and solutions for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers.

E-Waste Recycling

Now onto a couple of less happy moments: along with touring Metro Paint, I visited an e-waste facility, which seemed to be doing a good job at recycling e-waste (the manager noted that everything that comes in gets recycled except for the wooden particle board sometimes found in TVs and other appliances).

But the horrifying thing was that the facility processed 13 million pounds of e-waste in 2010 from about 2.4 million people. That’s about 5 pounds per person per year.

On the positive side, this recapture rate has tripled since 2008, due to a new extended producer responsibility law that Oregon passed. But that is A LOT of e-waste. At one of the conferences I spoke at a representative from the Consumer Electronics Association described how the CEA had a goal of recycling 1 BILLION pounds of e-waste in the U.S. by 2016.

While a noble effort—I guess—that means billions of metals, plastics, glass and other materials will have been ripped from the Earth’s crust to supply our marketing-stimulated demand for the latest iCrap. And I’m not sure the Earth can handle all that (especially in the context of 6.7 billion other people also craving fancy electronic gadgets and American lifestyles).

Tactical Green Management Techniques

With improved knowledge and supporting technology, there really is no reason why companies should not go green.

So much of what concerns industries today – from cost cutting to improving their carbon footprints – can be resolved using readily available resources and standards set as company best practices.

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As a project manager, you have the power to make the switch to a green work environment that much more effective.

Here are steps you can use to bring some ingenuity to your management techniques without sacrificing cost and efficiency:

Tactical Green Management Techniques

Make the Gradual Shift to Recycled Materials

Chances are, your office supplies are not entirely composed of 100% recycled materials.

However, a good percentage of those supplies are recyclable and you should consider ways to reuse and recycle them.

Once you begin to replenish your supplies, consider buying from manufacturers and sellers who offer recycled paper and office supplies.

You not only encourage the use of green materials, you could also help support local businesses.

Reuse and Recycle Paper

Old paper files, documents and extra copies of memos and notices may be cut and reused as inter-office memos and notepads, provided they do not contain confidential information.

If your office or department uses paper, consider looking for third party businesses that recycle used materials.

If you produce enough paper waste, recycles will be glad to recycle them for you.

Go Paperless

On the average, an office worker is likely to use as many as 10,000 sheets of paper each year.

Given the kind of technology that almost makes paper unnecessary, this figure is quite alarming.

Instead of using paper for simple communications, use e-mail or SMS.

To assure confidentiality for attached files, consider encrypting and password-protecting electronic information, and limiting the number of recipients to whom the files are sent.

Create printouts of documents only when and if necessary.

Go For Green Technology

Lighting, computers, small office appliances are usually rated based on their energy consumption.

Consider using electronic equipment with a good Energy Star rating since these consume less energy.

Use energy-saving light bulbs and install sensor lights or automatic timers in rooms and areas that are not used often, such as conference rooms, meeting rooms, pantry, closets and bathrooms.

If possible, try tapping solar or wind energy to power your office and/or production area.

Renewable energy pays for itself over time and will be well worth the cost of investment in the long run.

Establish Control

Create a list of rules and desired behaviors to allow teammates and other members of the workplace to control how much and how often they consume energy.

For example, have them unplug all electronic devices when not in use and to use energy-saving settings on their computers and printers.

Go Natural

Some work area designs might allow the use of natural lighting during the day.

By turning off lights and utilizing daylight for work, you could save on the cost of power consumption in some areas of the building.

Use green building materials for construction.

Recycled and renewable materials are as aesthetically and functionally sound as other materials and may even cost less to purchase and install.

Lead by Example

Mentality in the work environment can be influenced and encouraged.

By showing how well green project management techniques can be integrated into day-to-day work and proving how effective and efficient these steps can be for completing and achieving company goals, you will be able to create a work environment where people are aware and excited about their roles in building and maintaining corporate responsibility.

Through careful study of green techniques, as well as pursuing continued education such as ACU organizational development degree programs, you will be on you way to successful manage in an eco-friendly way.

Make it a commitment and not just a nod to a trend.

Going green does not only make for a solid PR buzz, it also helps produce the kind of impact that companies want and expect in their industry.

Starting an Eco-Friendly Business can take many forms

True environmentalism begins at home, but now many people are saying that it could also start in the workplace.

The concept of an eco-friendly workplace used to be a rare phenomenon, but is now becoming more commonplace as increasing numbers of workforces are embracing environmental causes.

In some cases, entrepreneurs are setting up their businesses to be eco-friendly before they’ve even conducted their first transaction.

Defining Your Eco-Friendly Business

Eco-friendly businesses can take many forms, and don’t necessarily have to be focused on providing overtly environmental goods or services.

For example, on the one hand you might have a company which offers cleaning services using only sustainable and ‘green’ products, and on the other you might have a digital start-up which relies on renewable energy to power their electronics.

Environmentalism can be achieved through either your services, your processes or both.

The Nuts and Bolts

Much of the process of setting up an environmentally friendly business is the same as with less sustainable ventures. There’s insurance to buy, employees to hire and inventory to stock, as well as a hundred other tasks which will need to be accomplished before you open your doors. For those of you who aren’t sure about how to begin this process it’s worth talking to an experienced Catlin UK insurance underwriter, as well as an experienced business advisor.

Eco-Friendly Business

Understanding Your Customers

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to ensure that your business is meeting green standards is by getting in touch with an organisation such as the Green Deal Initiative, who can help to rate your environmental standards and advise you on how to proceed.

But another great measure of your green commitment is to look at your potential customer base, find out what they’re already interested in and what inspires them, and give them something to talk about. Many environmentally friendly businesses have used this tactic, not only to inspire there eco-friendly efforts, but to raise awareness of their new company and drum up some positive publicity.

Get Connected

In order to go green and stay green, it’s always advisable to have a little help. And for an environmentally aware business, no help could be more useful than that provided by existing eco-friendly initiatives. Get in touch with your local green network, make contact with your energy and water providers, and get a conversation started about how you can contribute to the ongoing environmental discussion.

Ways to Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

Across the nation, people are becoming more aware of how their day-to-day choices affect the environment and, in the long run, their quality of life. In addition to finding ways to make their lifestyles and homes ecologically friendly, many of them are looking carefully at the businesses they patronize to determine whether those businesses share their values and support the things they believe are important.

Even if, as a business owner, one is not especially committed to creating a green business on a personal or values-driven level, from a purely financial perspective, it can be very beneficial.

Shoppers who are aware of ecological impacts of the decisions they make in their personal lives are less likely to spend their money with a business that is in conflict with their views on a green lifestyle in the same way that shoppers are now looking carefully to see whether the dollars they spend at the local craft store or gym are going to support political positions they find objectionable.

With a tight economy, more and more individuals look at the dollars they spend at a given business as a form of donation to the causes supported by that business. So, in addition to the environmental benefit to creating an eco-friendly business model, there can also be a decided financial benefit as well.

Going green does not have to be time-consuming or costly because even some of the smallest changes can have a large impact that can be obvious to customers who are tuned in to the things that benefit the ecological balance. “Reduce, reuse and recycle” have been the keywords for folks interested in becoming more eco-friendly at home, and the same guidelines apply easily to a business.

Reduce:

First of all, reduce waste, toxins and chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to the people who are exposed to them. Any business can actively seek out products that are environmentally friendly for both their customers and their employees. Cleaning products and packaging materials are two of the most obvious.

Under the heading of “reduce” one can also look at a reduction of energy expenditures. Energy efficient light bulbs, programmable thermostats, energy efficient doors and windows, all have a big impact and customers can see and appreciate these things in use. Get people in the habit of turning off equipment when it is not in use, and encouraging communication by email instead of with hard-copy notes.

Reuse:

Anyone can switch to using a portion of their consumable items like stationary, copy paper, napkins and paper towels that are made from recycled materials. Recycled items can be a little more costly initially than those made from new materials but, in the long run, the value of the ecologically sound option will be realized both in knowing that one is supporting the environment and generating good will among customers who are very aware of these things.

It is also a good idea to support suppliers who collect and reuse their packaging as well as buying from local suppliers. The further something has to be shipped to get to you, the more energy will be used getting it there.

Recycle:

Recycling is the one eco-friendly habit that is most familiar and most widespread. Cities everywhere are making recycling easy and convenient for common things like aluminum, plastic, paper and most other household items, but in an office setting there are many more things that can be recycled as well, like ink jet cartridges and the cartridges from laser printers.

Keeping an empty box near the printer to toss used copy paper and other documents make it really simple to recycle those papers, as well as the constantly appearing phone books, take-out menus and junk mail.

Make it a group project:

A business is a prime location to create a drop-off point for one or two specific items of your choice as a service to your customers. Eyeglasses to be donated, those never-ending phone books, old cell phones, and items that might be specific to your business like plastic bags, can all make a difference.

Look for the little things:

One of the nicest things about being eco-friendly is that being consistent is a lot more important than hunting for huge changes to adopt. Small contributions, consistently done, can make a really large impact. Consistently reducing the amount of energy, water and paper a business used can make a big difference, not only to the environment but to the cash in your pocket.

How to Go Green in Your Office

Every day offices expend huge amounts of energy and waste a number of resources simply because no one has put forth a sustainability initiative. In your office you might see quantities of paper, disposable cups, water bottles, envelopes, ink and numerous other supplies wasted and thrown away. Going  green in the office is now easier than ever.  Reduce the overall carbon footprint with these simple suggestions for making your workplace’s sustainability program a reality.

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1)      Go Paperless: Although this is not as easy as other efforts, even an attempt at going paperless can make a huge difference. The US pulp and paper industry is the 2nd largest consumer of energy, but by using less paper businesses can help change this data. Legislation has passed to legalize electronic signatures, and when implemented, these eliminate the need to store paper after paper in filing cabinets.

2)      Adjust your printer settings: This is one of the easiest ways to green your office. First, before you copy something, check the settings of the printer-is it the right size paper? Is it the number of copies you need? Also, set your photocopier and printer to print double sided and make sure to recycle your toner cartridges.

3)      Buy Energy Star approved products: Energy Star is a government approved program that helps businesses find products that maintain superior energy efficiency.  They even make it easy by listing their approve products by type on their website.

4)      Make the dress code casual: Although this is not suitable for all businesses, it is still something to consider. Not wearing suits means much less dry cleaning- better for the environment, and your wallet. 90% of dry cleaning businesses in the U.S. use perchloroethylene, or PCE, which is a highly effective cleaning agent, but it’s also toxic and terrible for the environment.

5)      Purchase carbon offsets. Find out your company’s carbon dioxide emissions by speaking to your local utility or energy management company. Many services are offered to plant trees to balance out your calculated carbon emissions.

6)      Use recycled paper: Understandably, going paperless is not totally feasible in all situations. In the instances where things need to be printed, use recycled paper. This requires less energy, water, and chemical use to manufacture.

7)      Install a bottleless water cooler: Bottleless water coolers use point-of-use, or POU, water filtration systems to purify your tap water for better taste, lower cost, and without filling up landfills and exhausting energy consumption. All you need is a water source within 200 feet.

8)      Recycle: You have probably heard this before, but a large number of offices still do not recycle everything that they can.  Paper, file folders, card board (from the back of notepads), and even computers and computer accessories can be properly recycled, but often are forgotten. For an added benefit- you might even be able to catch a tax deduction when you donate your computers.

9)      Use reusable coffee mugs and water bottles: Just think, if each of your employees drink two cups of coffee a day, that’s hundreds, if not thousands, of wasted cups each year.  Instead, offer coffee mugs or reusable bottles as a promotional piece.  For a minimal cost you can simultaneously advertise your business, while also keeping your employees happy and helping the environment.

10)   Eliminate Paper Towels: Another simple change to a greener office can be by using cloth towels or napkins in the kitchen. Install a hand dryer in the bathroom, which come flu season, will be better for your businesses’ overall health as well as green initiatives.

Any effort made to implement these suggestions will  truly help your office achieve your goals- save money, have good health, and save the planet. Many sustainability initiatives, including using bottleless water coolers,  allows your business to lower your carbon footprint from the very first day and is a visible reminder to your staff and visitors that value the future of the environment.

Thinking Green When Buying School Supplies

Parents who are serious about going green know that there’s more to it than simply recycling their waste or carpooling. Living in an eco-friendly manner is a lifestyle, not just a fad and that means everything should be considered, including school supplies.

Hidden Dangers of School Supplies

At first glance, that shiny new backpack full of markers and paints doesn’t look terribly dangerous. Unfortunately, what your child is carrying may not be as innocent as it looks. Many school supplies contain harmful chemicals, some of which have even been banned in other products. For example, phthalates can be found in raincoats, lunch boxes and even backpacks made with vinyl.

These nasty chemicals have actually been banned from being used in toys, since they have been linked to diseases like asthma and ADHD. This is not exactly something you want your child in contact with on a daily basis. Depending on where the supplies come from, they may also contain other chemicals and even lead. While companies are certainly wising up, you can’t assume that the cute new backpack your child wants is going to be safe.

Choosing Green School Supplies

Fortunately for parents of school age children, there are plenty of green choices on the market for school supplies these days. Some companies have reworked their existing products, while new companies have sprung up with completely eco-friendly offerings.

Food and Drink

When it comes to packing your child’s lunch, avoid vinyl and PVC lunch boxes and water bottles. Instead, opt for stainless steel lunch containers. You can also find BPA free boxes if you really want to use plastic. Metal water bottles keep drinks cool and safe. They are reusable and one bottle can last your child for years.

There’s no need to cave on the pressure to have cool themed items, either, since you can get stainless steel with a wide variety of designs. Fabric and reusable lunch bags are another option. You can also buy fabric sandwich bags and napkins. These can be washed and reused after each day.

Art Supplies

Pens, pencils and crayons are standard school supplies that your child will be required to bring in. You can choose to purchase recycled wax crayons or soybean crayons to keep your child’s art eco-friendly. Recycled newspaper pencils look pretty neat and are great for the environment, as well. Your child will find these easy to use and a little softer to hold, as well.

Paper and Notebooks

Every kid will go through several notebooks during the school year, not to mention a lot of loose paper. Opt for recycled, but stick to bleached paper until you find out if the school permits unbleached. Notebooks can also be made entirely of recycled paper without any noticeable difference from the brand new ones.

Backpacks and School Bags

Since your child will need a way to carry his or her other school supplies, a backpack can easily be the most important item for school. It should be comfy and the right size for your student. However, the materials used are also important.

Bags made from recycled PET (the plastic used in many drink containers) are sturdy and good for the environment. You can also use recycled cloth to make your own book bags, if you are handy at sewing.

Reuse Last Year’s Supplies

Some things do not need to be purchased. Notebooks with blank pages can be reused, as can backpacks that still hold books. You can also reuse things like folders and binders, if need be. Before purchasing, look at what you already have lying around. Green school shopping doesn’t have to be complicated, particularly with so many companies providing great alternatives.

Not only should parents be contributing to this idea, teachers and educational professionals should also be working toward teaching our children environmentally friendly behaviors.
Individuals all over the world are now working to minimize the leakage of their waste products into the environment, but companies can do their part, too. This article will look at a variety of marketing solutions that are being adopted by businesses to help save the environment. Many of the services you can get from Can’t Miss Marketing, which specializes in creating ads for businesses.

Using recycled materials

Recycling has always been viewed as a valuable way of saving energy, provided, of course, that it does not require any additional work — paper, for instance, has to have the ink removed from it before it can be prepared for use again. Metal and plastic cans should be delivered to the nearest recycling center, while pop and beer cans and bottles should be taken to a store — not necessarily the one where they were first sold — for refund.

Using sand and snow stamps

“These types of advertising are quite useful if the event that you are hosting happens to be near sand or in an area that is presently covered in snow”, says marketing expert Dawn Magee of Guest Blogs Galore. With Can’t Miss Marketing you can actually register your sand and snow stamps so that they can be used over and over again. And this form of advertising is not only environmentally clean, it is effective — I mean, if you own a restaurant located along a sandy beach, what better way of drawing habitual beach goers there than by putting its stamp all around where everyone will see it? Snow stamps can be put down in the same area during the snowbound season.

Using concrete stamps

Concrete stamps are, of course, much more permanent than sand or snow stamps. They can be put down in various places along the pavement leading to your place of business. You should include your contact information in every stamp of whatever kind that you make.

“Clean graffiti” ads

When people hear the word graffiti, what most often comes to mind is the unsightly messages illegally painted all over streets and buildings by hoodlums and gang members. But there is such thing as “clean” graffiti, and you can use as yet another way of making your business voice heard. Also known as “aqua ads,” clean graffiti ads consist of messages written on concrete surfaces of all kinds — sidewalks, curbs, sides of buildings and so on — in a liquid that is environmentally friendly, which paint is not; and besides, paint is less permanent. If something in the business changes, so that you need to change your message, that is no problem either — you can remove the old message and put in the new one.

The use of electronic media

By employing electronic media in your advertising, you can cut down the use of paper. Online, television and radio advertising are all available out there for you, and they can really draw people’s attention to your business (online advertisements, incidentally, often precede YouTube videos when the latter are clicked on). Best of all, this is a form of advertising that you can manage without even having to leave your home!

Giving your customers an incentive to go green

It is a great thing to make your own business an eco-friendly one, but it is even greater if you can spread the message around to your customers and thus encourage them to do the same. One way in which you can do so is by letting them know that a portion of every purchase that they make from you will be given to a charitable organization of some sort that is devoted to greenness. You can also let customers know that you are a green company, so that they will know that just by using your products and services, you are helping to make the community a cleaner, safer and healthier place in which to live.

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Great Green Marketing Solutions

E-marketing: Good for Business and More Eco-friendly

We all know that each and single marketing campaign done the traditional offline way creates enormous amount of waste. Think about all that printed material produced each and single day for marketing and how it is often physically delivered to its target group.

Millions of people. In fact, billions of people gets tens of kilos of printed advertising material sent to them each year. Often poorly targeted with the strategy to reach as many people as possible with a hope that at least a few of them get converted into paying customers.

In all honesty, how many do actually look at all the advertising they get, that’s right most people throw it in the bin straight away without even looking at it. Does it sound like effective marketing? It would be a much smarter strategy moving your marketing efforts online or at least create a better balance between offline and online efforts. Better targeting.

More cost-effective. Better conversion. Less time-consuming. Better for the environment!

iContact for example who is in the forefront of e-marketing and provides creative solutions for email and social media marketing has been working very hard creating an extremely user-friendly concept. The truth is that anyone can do this. You do not need to be an IT expert in any way. Just know your business and your target audience and you can create a stunning campaign in notime.

Recent years it has become very easy to target your audience and track results. Such powerful capabilities cannot be found for marketing offline. New features and functions keep popping up all the time and are added as they are invented. If you want to know more about e-marketing and this ever growing field why not sign up for iContact’s Email Newsletter to stay up to date on specials, new features, updated features, tips, and advice.

Do yourself, your business and the environment a favor and consider stronger emphasis on marketing activities online.

The wonderful thing about all these environmentally friendly forms of advertisement is that they enable you to make yourself seen without having to feel guilty about harming the natural environment!

The Effects of Green Marketing: Consumer Trends Drive Profit (Video)

There is a $230 billion marketplace that exists for products and services that meet the needs of consumers who buy based on their personal, social and environmental values. This marketplace is predicted to grow to $845 billion by 2015! Would you like to know if and how your business could get a share of the green marketplace?

This great online green marketing movie reveals the categories and types of businesses that could profitably and sustainably expand into the $230 billion green marketplace. You will also learn who these green consumers are, what motivates them and what they like to buy.

Visit Keyboard Culture Green Marketing for more from Green Marketing Expert Colette Chandler. Keyboard Culture is a community of like-minded people and visionary leaders providing valuable free training and answers creating a New Earth and New Consciousness.

3 ways to make leaflet printing part of a more eco-friendly marketing campaign

Too many leaflets are thrown away, wasting natural (and financial) resources. However, leaflet printing doesn’t have to be environmentally unfriendly, and a well-planned campaign can bring a good return on investment.

Leaflet printing is now very cheap and easy, thanks to recent technological changes. It’s possible to print huge volumes of color flyers an a fairly low budget, to distribute around a local area or by other means. However, businesses with an interest in protecting the environment will be concerned that leaflet campaigns can be wasteful. With proper planning, though, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Consider digital printing

If you are using conventional print processes for your flyer printing, you may be able to reduce your ecological footprint by moving to digital. Traditional printers frequently use lots of harmful chemicals in the plates and set-up process, including aluminium, alcohol and high VOC (volatile organic compounds) materials. They can also use a lot of water.

Digital printing avoids these. Another advantage of digital printing is that you can perform smaller print runs economically. The set-up time and costs of conventional printing makes it expensive to print a few flyers at a time. That means businesses are tempted to buy in bulk, and may end up wasting leaflets they never need.

Research your leaflet’s audience

One of the advantages of leaflets is that they are cheap and can be printed in large quantities. However, that doesn’t do you any good if they are not distributed properly. Many leaflets are ignored or thrown away not because they are badly designed but because the reader would never have any interest in the product or service they are advertising.

Look at it this way: if you’ve opened a family restaurant with good facilities for young children, there is little point distributing your leaflets to an area of town that is full of young professionals – they just won’t be interested.

So, make sure that your leaflet it distributed to the right audience. The best flyers for distribution to a specific postcode (which the mail service can do for you) are ones for local businesses with a broad appeal to a cross-section of the population.

If your leaflet is advertising something a bit more specialist, like a store for buying and selling rare stamps, then you will do better distributing them through niche magazines or other publications. That should limit waste by making sure they fall into the right kinds of hands.

Your leaflet design is key

Don’t underestimate the impact of good leaflet design – or bad leaflet design, either. Your business might be outstanding, your leaflet copy excellent, but if your potential customers are put off because it looks unprofessional or badly laid-out, they won’t get past this.

If you need some help then you can find a designer or copywriter to do it for you. If you are doing it on your own, make sure you get a good idea of what works well and what doesn’t before you start – you can do this by looking at other leaflets.

When you’ve finished your leaflet, check and recheck the spelling, punctuation and grammar. People can be extremely picky about these, and the leaflet is your calling card – you want to present the most organised, professional face you can.

If your readers gain a bad impression because of avoidable mistakes, they may end up binning your leaflet even if they would otherwise be interested in learning more. You don’t want to give them any more reasons for ignoring your leaflet.

A leaflet campaign is an excellent way to advertise your business, provided it is done right. Its environmental impact, and often its financial impact on your marketing budget, can be limited by selecting the best form production (digital printing for smaller print runs), researching the demographic you want to target, and by making sure your leaflet is well-designed and error-free.

This article was supplied by printed.com suppliers of high quality leaflet printing and members of the Direct Marketing Association.

Improving Your Environmental Impact by Using Expert Management and Advice

Becoming more sustainable and reducing your environmental impact is very important for companies not only to comply with any laws, but also to improve their company and the perception of their company overall. Here you will find out some of the benefits of environmental management services and advice for your company, as well as how to find the right environmental management company to work with.

Improve Your Environmental Performance

Although some managers may act only once their company has hit a crisis, it is important to realize that it is always a good time to improve your environmental performance. This is where expert management and advice become very helpful. Being proactive by implementing expert management to look over your company’s environmental impact is ideal, so you can make sure you are taking the necessary environmental improvement opportunities, as well as any extra opportunities to become more sustainable.

Save More Money

Implementing environmental management advice can not only help you to improve your impact on the environment, but it can also help your company become efficient overall. It can help you prevent pollution, conserve resources, cut waste, and save plenty of money, through using newer technology, lowering your operating costs, and improving your operating practices.

Become More Competitive

Using expert management and advice to improve your environmental impact not only helps your company save money, work more efficiently, and be more sustainable, but it also makes your company more competitive in its field. Many industries have environmental conduct codes they need to meet. So, meeting these codes and going beyond them can certainly give you a boost over competing companies.

Maintain Your Legal Obligations

Companies often have legal environmental obligations they need to meet to avoid violations and any possible repercussions. Environmental management services can help you to discover what you need to do to meet and maintain all legal requirements for your company. In addition, you can receive expert environmental management advice that can help you figure out the timing and necessary investments you need in order to comply with any future regulations that may be arising.

Improve Your Public Image

Taking expert advice for improving your environmental impact can have plenty of long-term rewards, including greatly boosting the public image of your company. The environmental impact of companies they support is very important to many consumers today. So, the more your company is doing to take control of its effect on the environment, the more likely consumers will be drawn your way.

Looking for Environmental Management

When looking for environmental management, you want to be sure that the company you choose has all of the services your company needs to improve its environmental impact for right now and for the future. Many environmental management companies provide services and advice to help your company on the path to becoming more sustainable. For example, you can check out Ausenco reviews to see how one environmental management company provides services for making and maintaining the sustainability of your company.

Green Data Center Upgrades Reduce Environmental Impact

The Information Age has led to the rise of multiple data centers across the globe. These mission critical facilities face several contentious issues such as speed, uptime, cost and environmental effects.

Since they require nonstop operations, energy draw can add up to a staggering level and this continues to rise every year. Current estimates say that these facilities collectively consume nearly 2% of the world’s power supply and produce a significant amount of greenhouse gases in the process.

Effective energy management is required to reduce environmental impact as well as operating costs. This can be achieved in several ways.

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Green Data Center

High Efficiency Servers

The biggest opportunity lies in the server electronics. Many of these units are operating at sub-optimal capacity. Numerous racks are turned on but the processors are utilizing less than 5% of their resources most of the time. Through hardware consolidation and better software optimization, utilization rates can increase to 30%.

Virtualization could push this up even further to 80%. Experts also advise the continuous upgrade to faster computers and flash-based storage instead of hard disks.

These investments pay for themselves quickly from power savings. After all, electricity costs are where the bulk of the operating expenses come from, including the all important backup generators.

Lighting Systems

Replacing the current lighting system with more economical lamps can go a long way towards the reduction of power draw. Remember than lights also generate heat which increases the load for cooling systems. Using power-efficient fixtures that produce minimal heat is also a step in the right direction.

Additional measures include the installation of centralized controls which can be programmed to switch things on or off depending on the projected maintenance schedule. Another way to go about it is to use equip the lights with sensor electronics that detect whether there are people within the vicinity. These can turn off the lights automatically if there are no occupants to minimize wasted power.

Building Automation Systems

Large server farms will benefit from the implementation of a comprehensive building automation system. These have been traditionally used for monitoring but technological innovations now allow them to do more than ever before. The interface can show detailed real-time parameters which make it easier for operators to control resource allocation and make necessary interventions at any given instant.

The system can show the temperatures and pressures around the data center from which the power usage effectiveness can be computed. These metrics can be logged and archived for internal efficiency studies and future optimization initiatives. Implementation and analysis of these systems are highly technical processes and should be dealt with by professionals.

Airflow and Cooling

The server electronics can generate a tremendous amount of heat. They need to be cooled continuously through both active and passive methods to avoid circuit malfunction. The rule of thumb is to keep the room temperature within 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Effective temperature control equipment can achieve this through massive cooling equipment which chills the air to the desired level. A persistent problem within data centers is that as much as 60% of cold air can escape through raised floor openings. As a consequence, the servers can have hot spots and chillers need to work harder to maintain the low temperature. This can be remedied through the use of products which seal off the cable opening to prevent cold air from escaping.

They are simple solutions that require virtually no maintenance. Bypass airflow will immediately be reduced once they are installed. A thermal assessment may be conducted to identify the hot spots where these grommets are most needed. A reevaluation can be conducted after the installation to measure their effectiveness. Energy consumption due to active cooling should drop down considerably and result in fantastic savings for the company.

Energy Efficient Data Centers

Data centers take a lot of energy for their operations. However, there a number of centers that are monitored more efficient than others. Green data centers are designed in such a way as to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact. Here is an infographic for more insight:
Green Data Centers

What’s old is new again energy storage

The electrical grid is a complex network connecting thousands of power sources with millions of consumers all across the U.S. While producing enough power to supply the energy needs of a nation is an extremely difficult task, just as challenging, if not more so, is the need to balance supply and demand on the grid.

Traditionally, the key approach to addressing this issue has been a centralized one, with power generators adjusting daily production based on anticipated levels of demand. But as the supply and demand picture continues to become more complex, emphasis is beginning to shift again toward energy storage – systems that can hold excess electricity until it is needed and then responsively release it into the grid. The utilization of energy storage in the U.S. is far from new.

A report by the Energy Storage Council (ESC) highlights power generators in the 70’s and 80’s recognized the potential of these technologies – creating a base of large-scale storage facilities that accounted for nearly 3 percent of the nation’s electric capacity by the early 90’s. However, the industry suffered major setbacks under the pressures of deregulation causing development to stall.

In the last decade energy storage technologies have enjoyed a resurgence spurred primarily by the burgeoning electric vehicle industry and private investment. Utilities and investors are again recognizing the broad potential benefits of energy storage technologies for power generators as they strive to meet demand.

The potential economic impacts of energy storage are fairly widespread, but the most basic idea is that these technologies will benefit utilities by maximizing power generation and conservation through reliability. Instability can lead to higher electric costs both because of inefficiencies at the generation level and the need for greater maintenance at lower levels. The prospective benefits of energy storage are also gaining government attention and support.

Most recently, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $43 million in funding from its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for 19 new projects aimed at developing energy storage technologies.

Energy storage also offers a more cost effective solution for intermittent renewable energy sources like solar and wind, which are incapable of scaling generation up or down in response to changing demand. At the same time, energy storage also has the potential to allow for more consistent use of coal-fired power plants, which have difficulty adjusting their output based on demand.

Energy storage holds the potential to address many of the key challenges facing the electric power industry. By raising the overall capacity and flexibility of energy storage helps meet the needs of a high demand modern grid by optimizing existing assets.

With such wide ranging benefits, growing the energy storage sector is certain to open up new and innovative opportunities for the electric power market.

healthcareHow Health Care Ethics Extends to the Environment

Among the top concerns of many people today are both the state of health care and the state of the environment. What few people may realize, however, is that the two issues are inextricably linked.

While in general, human health and health care has improved remarkably in recent years, the overall state of the environment has declined precipitously — and that decline is responsible for a large portion of the illness and disease among humans.

In fact, according to one study, one-fourth of all health problems stem from the environment, thanks to poor air and water quality, toxins in the ecosystem and other issues that are a result of environmental abuse. The blame for these environmental problems falls on many shoulders, including the medical community.

It’s almost ironic that the very organizations devoted to improving and maintaining human health play a significant role in the culture of consumption and waste that lead to the environmental conditions that cause health issues.

Because health care’s environmental footprint is so significant, providers and organizations have an ethical responsibility to mitigate their impact by engaging in sustainable practices and reducing the amount of material and energy resources they consume.  However, as with many ethical dilemmas, the solutions aren’t that simple.

The Patient or the Environment?

While health care facilities and providers do have a responsibility to limit their environmental impact, they also have to balance their commitment to patient care with a commitment to caring for the planet.

First, providers must balance the principle of “do no harm,” the basis of the Hippocratic Oath, with the need to provide adequate patient care. Providers want to offer the best possible care to their patients, but there are times when that care could do harm to the environment by creating medical waste, releasing toxins into the environment or using significant material and energy resources.

How do providers weigh the needs of one patient against the impact that the treatment could have on the environment, and by extension, many other people?

The second ethical question pits the notion of overall public health against issues of sustainability. Many of the greatest advances in health in the last 100 years, including sanitation, vaccines and improved technologies have come at a price for the environment.

Continued research and development will have additional impacts on the environment, but can providers maintain the level of services they provide while using fewer resources? Don’t we have a responsibility to maintain the level of service that patients have grown accustomed to — and that we have the ability to provide?

These are important questions for health care providers to consider, and as we look toward changing the landscape of health care delivery, they will move to the forefront of many discussions regarding the delivery of care.

It’s no surprise, then that the field of health care ethics and health care ethics degree programs is growing; why not look here for more information regarding this field and the opportunities it presents to health care professionals?

Beyond Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle

While the study and practice of health care ethics is beginning to look at the relationship between health care and the environment, many facilities and providers are making changes on their own to become more sustainable and reduce waste in recognition of their responsibility to the environment.

Federal, state and local laws and standards place significant restrictions on many aspects of health care waste, and in some cases providers have limited options for reducing their footprint, but they can work to reduce consumption in other areas.

Some facilities’ efforts include:

  • Using environmentally friendly cleaning methods, including limiting the use of toxic chemicals
  • Reducing the use of equipment and materials that contain contaminants such as PVC and mercury
  • Choosing renewable energy sources
  • Creating a culture of reduced consumption; employees are encouraged to limit their use of paper, turn off unused lights and equipment, recycle when possible, etc.
  • Employ green materials and design in new projects, and strive to meet LEED certification standards in physical plants
  • Developing environmentally conscious treatment plans — only prescribing procedures and treatments that are absolutely necessary

As new technologies and standards for patient care and environmental protection emerge, more health care organizations will make the shift to sustainable practices. In the meantime, however, providers and facilities are managing the delicate ethical balance between doing what’s best for their patients and what’s best for the earth.

Legal Implications Of Air Pollution In The US

The United States government is very dedicated to “going green,” something that has been a point of focus for years now, as evidenced by the Clear Air Act. While business owners used to be able to create as much pollution as they wanted, they are now held to standards and the pollution levels are measured to make sure that they do not create more than is legally allowed.

It is important to note that the regulations are not the same across the board, as they may be harsher in some areas than others. Traditionally, California has had the strictest laws when it comes to air quality, though these laws are growing stricter in other states as well.

The challenges of auctioning pollution (Source: Jan Smith)
The challenges of auctioning pollution (Source: Jan Smith)

The Carbon Credit Program

One thing that business owners could do if they created too much pollution was to buy carbon credits. This system was used so that they could make sure that they were offsetting air pollution with positive action.

For example, a tree farm would create a lot of oxygen and fight for positive environmental change, and a factory would create pollution and work against it. Factories that were producing more than they were allowed could plant tree farms in order to counter the damage that they were doing.

This system was also set up just to keep total pollution at an “acceptable” level. Therefore, most businesses were given a number of carbon credits that they could use, which related to how much pollution they created.

If one company was under the amount that they were allotted, they could then sell those credits to another company that was over the limit. This gave positive reasons for business owners to try to go green because they would be paid handily if they could do it by companies that could not.

Fines and Fees

That program did not have the positive impact that was hoped for, unfortunately, largely because companies would just buy up tree farms and other things to get extra carbon credits. They were not taking positive action, but just buying the credit from places that would have been having that impact anyway.

Therefore, the government operates on a basis of fines and fees for businesses that are not green enough, that produce too much pollution. If a business is found to be in offense of the law, the government decides how much damage they have done, assigns a monetary value to it, and forces them to pay a fine.

Making Changes

alternative energy sources
Source: 2nd Green Revolution

However, profitable companies could simple pay those fines without making things any better, so the government also uses the laws to force them to change. If they are found in offense – and especially if they are repeat offenders – they have to put programs in place to reduce their impact in the future.

This could include using alternative energy sources like solar power or wind turbines. It could include using recycled paper. It could just include creating a committee dedicated toward green efforts. The company has to show that it is trying to change, or it could get more fines and fees.

Drastic Legal Action

As of now, there is no real precedent for any more drastic legal action than what has been outlined above. Though too much pollution could be a civil offense – and an affected person may be able to sue and win a civil suit – the government would usually not jail or imprison a company owner for an offense.

This has happened in rare occasions – a developer in Washington was given a prison term of 6 months for purposely ignoring regulations – but it is not common. In order to become an expert on environmental laws of this nature, individuals should consider investing in higher education, whether through law school,  paralegal degrees  or even environmental studies degrees.

Fun Facts about Corporate Accounting Scandals

The infographic below, which recently crossed our desk courtesy of Accounting-degree.org, provides a nice overview of some of the big corporate accounting scandals of the last 15 years or so. The title may be misleading – it hardly seeks to capture the biggest scandals of “all time” – but it does give a good summary of those that have happened in recent memory.

And the sources of the details they provide are cited – most of which (but not all) are pretty reliable. So if you want a five-minute summary of all that’s wrong in the world of accounting fraud, and you don’t mind a strong US bias, this is a good place to start.

One thing we particularly like are the “fun facts” accompanying each scandal. OK, so most of these are not really much fun at all – is anyone laughing about the introduction of Sarbanes-Oxley after the Worldcom and Enron scandals? – but they do point to some of the absurdities of the system in which the accounting scandals have taken place.

Enron being voted most innovative company six times in a row by Fortune magazine, Lehman brothers being honored with “Most Admired Securities Firm” a year before its collapse, AIG execs getting $165m in bonuses just after posting the largest quarterly loss in American corporate history and getting a government bailout? It doesn’t say much about how well we scrutinize or reward supposedly “successful” companies, does it?

It’s also interesting that the infographic has been created by an organization promoting online accounting degrees (we might add that their other Featured Article is titled “10 Accounting Tricks the 1% Use to Dodge the Taxman”, which is also worth a look). Are they saying that an accounting degree will help avoid some of these problems in the future?

That what we need are better accounting degrees? That an on-line offering is in any way more or less likely to lead people to engage in shady accounting practices? Clearly there is an important role for accounting education in here somewhere, but we’re not too sure about the offerings being recommended by Accounting-degree.org, or even who the organization is or what its methodology is.

In the spirit of good accounting, a little more transparency would be a good thing. But don’t let that stand in the way of enjoying a nice infographic.

Source: Accounting-Degree.org