Green Talk – Earth Day at America’s Best Companies

Earth Day is an opportune moment for all of us – especially business owners – to think about how we can protect our planet. We can make daily efforts through recycling, conserving resources, preventing pollution and more. Simple steps are often all it takes. We just need to understand what those steps can be and how to take them. So, this Earth Day, I thought I'd share some ideas for going green.

Support your local farmer’s market. When you purchase local produce, you help the environment, support the local economy and save money at the same time. Food that is locally produced and sold most often comes from small to mid-size farms. This promotes stronger ties between communities, better connections to the land and better protection for the natural world. Best of all, this reduces long-distance transport with its attendant consumption of fossil fuels and climate changing greenhouse gas emissions.

Ditch the bottled water habit. Not only does bottled water contribute to incredible amounts of waste, but it also costs many times more than water from the tap, and there’s a good chance that that’s exactly where it comes from—a municipal water supply! Last year, this popular convenience item sent about 38 billion empty plastic bottles to America’s landfills. Trains, trucks, and boats guzzle millions of barrels of oil and fossil fuels just in the transportation of bottles all over the world. All the while, bottlers are ringing in the cash while spending millions of dollars a year marketing bottled water as safe as or healthier than water from the faucet. The next time you cough up a dollar or more for that fancy water bottle, consider the difference in standards between the two.

Recycle your electronics. America ’s Best Companies participated today in Electronics Recycling Day with ARC International, which focuses on electronic waste management. We cleared our office of old fax machines, monitors, power cords, broken computer peripherals, etc.; you know, all the broken stuff we keep crammed in the break room.

As an aside, if you’re planning on upgrading any of your computer equipment, HP has an offer they recently introduced where they are taking back older hardware. Through April 30th, if you have an old laser machine – regardless of the brand -- HP will pay for shipping so that you can send in your old machine and receive a mail-in cash back allowance of up to $1,250 for a new HP printer.

Here is the link to see if they’ll accept your equipment:

http://www.hp.com/united-states/tradein/promo/laserjet_fa07/

Feel free to share some of your thoughts on Earth Day and beyond.