Thursday, April 30, 2009

The most popular ways for businesses to grow green

Saw this post today while poking around the Internet doing a little research. It quotes a survey performed by looking at what the most popular environmentally-related jobs are. While surveying, they also asked the companies surveyed what green programs they have been latching onto in the last year. A whopping 70 % of those polled said they had taken some measures to go green in the last 12 months.

The top 2 green initiatives had to do with paper use. First was recycling. Of the companies surveyed, 50% said they were now recycling. Right behind that was using less paper, at 45 %.

Now, there’s no doubt that using less paper is a better measure than recycling. After all, there is an environmental “cost” to the recycling process. Put into simple terms, it’s better not to have to print a fax (as with MyFax) than to print it on a fax machine and then recycle the paper. But either is preferable to your faxes winding up in a landfill.

Number 4on the list, by the way, was powering down computers at the end of the day, which 30% of the companies said they’d started doing. That’s one of those cases where convenience and environmental responsibility kind of fight each other.

The reason a lot of people leave their computers on at the end of the day is they don’t want to wait for them to boot up the next morning. We as a society don’t have much patience, and waiting a minute or more for a computer to come seems like an eternity. Yet energy is being wasted every second a computer is running with no one in front of it. All you really need to do to help the planet is get into work one minute earlier, let the computer boot up, and get a cup of coffee or say hi to your co-workers. Is that really so hard?

Of course, anyone who’s even considering turning off their computers at the end of the day to save energy really ought to be looking at replacing their fax machines too. Because they have to be ready to receive at any time, fax machines are always drawing power – 24/7/365. It may not be a lot at a given minute, but over time it adds up.

A MyFax account allows you to eliminate the machine entirely. You send and receive faxes through another device that’s already on – such as that computer you’re powering down at night. As a bonus you also won’t be tossing another machine (and its toxic materials) into the waste stream.

When you really think about it, a MyFax account allows you to comply with 3 of the top 4 most popular green measures. That’s a pretty good deal. Sorry, you’ll have to figure out the lights on your own.

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