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Greenhouse

OVERVIEW

Over the past 10 - 20 years, numerous ‘green alternatives’ have emerged as well as convincing information about how unsustainable our industry and lifestyles are. This isn’t just an environmental problem, it's a business problem.

As designers we are in a position and have a responsibility, to influence decisions that reduce the impact of unsustainable business practices. The following links are to recommended green resources we have collected over the years.

Business Travel

Purchase airline tickets through through British Airways or Southwest Airlines, two companies that have environmental agendas. Alternatively, you can purchase a carbon offset credit for your business flights.

Stay at a certified green hotel. Rent a hybrid car.

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Carbon Offsets

If it's difficult for your company to adopt green business practices, you can offset your carbon emissions by purchasing carbon offsets. Here are some companies who sell them: CarbonFund.org and Carbon Footprint.

Also you can measure your carbon reduction efforts with this footprint calculator at Energy Race.

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E-mail Marketing

While most organizations don’t view their website and e-mail marketing campaigns as environmentally beneficial, they can greatly reduce the amount of material printed and shipped each year. One of the best e-mail management tools we've worked with is Campaign Monitor.

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Energy Savings

Lighting represents the single largest energy use in offices. Replace tungsten bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps. 1000 bulbs offers a wide variety of energy efficient replacements.

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Internet

While most organizations don’t view their website and e-mail marketing campaigns as environmentally beneficial, they can greatly reduce the amount of material printed and shipped each year. On-demand printing is a great way to reduce printing as well as make documents easier to find. There are also numerous software companies purporting the ‘paperless office’ such as SpringCM and Document Locator.

Also according to MarketingSherpa, e-mail marketing provides the highest ROI of all B to B marketing initiatives, except Search Engine Optimization. A great e-mail management tool is Campaign Monitor.

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Junk Mail

Reduce junk mail at Green Dimes, a mailing list removal service.

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Links

Institute for Sustainable Communication
The Cloud Institute

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News + Education

Stay up to date with environmental news, education and commentary from these renowned organizations:

Grist
World Changing
Treehugger
Sustainable Metropolis

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Office

Switch to green cleaning and maintenance supplies. Simplegreen offers a complete line of green cleaning products. Use environmentally friendly Seventh Generation paper products in your office restroom and kitchen areas.

Telecommute once a week or more. The cost of setting up a home office for telecommuting can be offset by state and federal incentive programs and tax deductions.

How to "Green" your Office
Ten tips on how to make your workplace more environmentally friendly. Also check out this primer on going green for small businesses .

Eliminate the bottled water cooler. Remove the energy consumption involved in shipping water bottles and processing them for reuse, opt instead for a filter on tap water.

Purchase office furniture from sustainable companies such as Herman Miller.

Work with local printers and suppliers as much as possible to reduce the impact of shipping goods and to support local economies.

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On-Demand Printing

On-demand printing is a great way to reduce printing as well as make documents easier to find. There are also numerous software companies purporting the ‘paperless office’ such as SpringCM and Document Locator.

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Packaging

Learn more about sustainable packaging at The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), a group inspired by cradle to cradle principles and dedicated to creating a more robust environmental vision for packaging. Or hire a consultant to obtain advice on making your packaging more sustainable.

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Paper

According to the American Forest and Paper Association, the average American uses more than 748 pounds of paper per year, and waste paper is America’s single largest export by weight. Paper manufacturing alone is the third largest use of fossil fuels worldwide and the single largest industrial use of water per pound of finished product. Printing inks and toner are the second largest uses of carbon black, which is primarily manufactured by the incomplete combustion of oil.

Ecological Guide to Paper
The recycled and tree-free papers listed here generate fewer toxins and impact the environment far less than typical virgin wood, chlorine-bleached papers. This easy-to-use guide is a practical tool that makes it simple to change old paper-buying habits.

Mohawk
Sustainability is no longer an afterthought, which is why Mohawk uses renewable and non-polluting wind-generated electricity in their manufacturing.

Domtar
Offering an extensive selection of "earthchoice" papers, Domtar's products are endorsed by the rainforest alliance and certified to the Forest Stewardship Council's high standards.

Calculate the environmental impact of different types of papers.

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Printers

There are dozens of printers now that are certified by The Forest Stewardship Council as sustainable. Click here to see a list of printers by state [PDF].

Review these tips on choosing an environmentally friendly printer.

Use Greener Printer. By using GreenerPrinter for both your printing and your mailing, you are conducting your business in a more logical, efficient, cost-effective and (last but not least) GREEN manner.

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Recycling

Find recycling programs in your area for common business waste items.

Apple Recycling Program
As of June 2006, Apple offers a free computer take-back program for U.S. customers.

Computer recycling programs from other vendors: Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard/Compaq, IBM. Many of these companies also offer lease programs, which provide easy end of lifecycle return options.

Verizon Wireless also accepts used devices, such as cell phones, tablets, netbooks and mobile hotspot devices from any carrier. Not only are donors eligible to receive a gift card, but for every device recycled Verizon makes a $1 contribution to HopeLine® from Verizon.

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Trade Show Production

SecondLife Exhibits
Custom and re-usable trade show production services.

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T-Shirts

TSDesigns
Printer for sustainably produced t-shirts.

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Vinyl Alternatives

According to the EPA and other organizations, Vinyl is one of the most toxic substances in widespread use today. Vinyl is frequently used in signs, banners, awnings etc. for marketing programs. Learn more about vinyl alternatives.

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Websites

While most organizations don’t view their websites and e-mail marketing campaigns as environmentally beneficial, they can greatly reduce the amount of printed material each year. On-demand printing is a great way to reduce printing as well as make documents easier to find. There are also numerous software companies purporting the ‘paperless office’ such as SpringCM and Document Locator.

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Web Hosting

Hostway.com
This ISP came out as the most recommended hosting company from a variety of rating companies. They're a low cost full service hosting service focused on the small business market.

Dreamhost
Carbon-Neutral web hosting service.

Sustainable Hosting
An environmentally responsible hosting company that is powered by renewable wind energy.

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