Today I want to talk about our bottom pillar of our company and that is about environmental impact. When it comes to our environment there are three approaches a company can take. They can either do something, not do something or do it partially. This is one of the easiest yet hardest things any of us could ever do as a society. Yet it is also one of the hardest as well. This is where many fall into that third area or if it’s convenient they will do it and if it takes one extra amount of energy they slip into the someone else will do it phase. Let’s take a look at the challenge of being friendly to the environment.
The first step is where do you begin? There is no fixed starting point and no ending point in this. I like the staged approach where you start with the easy and do it consistently which makes the rest slowly come to pass. Here is what we have already done which you will see is not as much as I wish.
- Servers – the web and mail servers, firewalls, and backup mechanisms are all powered by renewable energy as the primary source of power and fossil fuels as their backup.
- Printing – We try not to print. When we do everything is on recycled paper or for our business cards they are on either recycled paper or plastic.
- Lights – All of our lights are either energy efficient LED or being replaced to be that way. This isn’t for our regular lights but are video and photography lights as well.
- Recycling – This is truly the hardest for us. We have asked for and are still waiting for our own recycle container so we have started to use our neighbors while we continue to wait for one. We are only past one year now in waiting but we know we are on the list to receive one.
- Shredding of paper – Blank envelopes, paper, check stubs, business cards, etc. are all shredded. There is rarely an occasion that anything leaves that isn’t shredded. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is our client’s privacy and equally, we use the shredded paper elsewhere and it works better and composts better when we use it as compost. A lot of it is saved for summertime campfires as the starter fluid for bomb fires. Yes, bomb fires aren’t the most environmentally friendly things to do but it beats dousing with gas or lighter fluid.
- Snow shoveling – This one actually started today (or should have). We received quotes from many landscaping/snow removal companies. Most are overcharging and the one we chose has been less than reliable. To reduce on vehicles plowing our lot we ordered a battery-operated snow blower with an extra battery. It is ironic it is delayed by snow and won’t be here until next week. This gives us over an hour of plowing capabilities, reduces gas usage, and is a lot quieter at 5 in the morning compared to a traditional snow blower. This change also helps us be better neighbors as we’re going to do the neighbors sidewalks as well.
That’s where we are at today. That’s not our long-term plans though. We want to look at solar (that’s the long-term ambition) for our roof to power the entire building. Snow and cloudy days will put a damper on that but it will be a great start. We will be upgrading our windows, furnace, and air conditioning to the highest level possible today. On our windows, we will have them tinted to keep heat in the winter and the heat out in the summer.
We know that we alone cannot change the world. We can do our part though to try and do our best. I feel if everyone does just one thing it will be a step in the right direction to making our planet for us, and our future inhabitants, have a better place to live. I feel that Mars and space exploration are a huge benefit to mankind but as we strive to do that we should continue to look at improving our home planet.