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Posted on Oct 01, 2011

Save the Planet, Save Money

Want to save a pile of green and become a green franchise in the process? Recent studies have shown that companies that go green can lower operating costs while minimizing environmental impact. We've put together a list of 10 simple ways franchises can get started.

    1. Be bright about light. Over 40% of the average company's electricity bill comes from indoor lighting. Switch to Energy Star-rated light bulbs and fixtures and install timers or motion sensors to automatically reduce wasted energy.
    2. Turn off the computer. Business computers waste $1 billion worth of electricity a year. Forget the screensaver; set all monitors to power off (sleep mode) after 10 minutes of nonuse.
    3. Print smarter. Recycle toner and ink cartridges and buy remanufactured ones. They're cheaper and each remanufactured cartridge saves about a half gallon of oil.
    4. Go paperless. The average office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of paper a year. To reduce waste, move to digital documents instead of printing notes, agendas, employee manuals, etc.
    5. Rethink the fleet. When buying a new vehicle for your business, look for hybrids and other high-mileage vehicles. Make sure the tires on all company vehicles are properly inflated-it increases gas mileage.
    6. Boot the commute. Encourage telecommuting. It's a nice perk that saves gas and reduces pollution while raising productivity (by as much as 40%!).
    7. Go virtual. Do more business online and cut down on unnecessary business trips and delivery services. Teleconferencing and technologies are cheaper and reduce fuel consumption.
    8. Create a healthy environment. Buy furniture, carpeting, and paint that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and won't off-gas toxic chemicals. It can save thousands of dollars in healthcare costs and absenteeism.
    9. Be fair. Buy Fair Trade coffee for the office lounge. It reduces the carbon footprint in developing nations.
    10. Use real cups. Get rid of those disposable cups in the employee lounge. It takes at least 20 pounds of paper a year to produce one disposable cup each day for one person.

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