Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Save Money - And The Planet

My Los Angeles Times column today lists several ideas for an entrepreneur concerned about both the environment - and her budget.

My source, green business writer Kim Carlson, has lots of additional tips that I didn't have room to include in the column. Here are a few:

*Use plants to do double duty bringing nature indoors while cleaning the air. Put them near copiers, faxes and other machines that emit ozone.

*Re-use one-sided, discarded copy paper for printing out notes and rough drafts. I do this all the time and go through very little paper, despite the fact that I still print out a lot of items (I just like having a hard copy, what can I say?). Re-using paper can reduce your paper cost by 20% to 35%, Kim says.

*Put recycling containers at every workstation, along with wastebaskets. Provide receptacles for recycling cardboard, plastic bottles and cans as well as paper.

*If you move your business, locate an existing office building or repurposed warehouse space rather than building a new structure.

*Deconstruct outdated square footage rather than tearing it down using a demolition crew. "Selling or donating used construction materials cuts down on waste and keeps old building components in use," Kim says.

In the mid-80s we lived in a neighborhood with a lot of historic bungalows. One of our favorite activities was scavenging tear-down sites for old architectural and design treasures. We salvaged some brass fireplace andirons from one place that we still have. And we picked up some lovely glass-paned French doors that we used in a home addition.

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