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Sustainability: Good for the Environment and for Your Wallet

sustainability 285x202 Sustainability: Good for the Environment and for Your Wallet In attending an event on Innovation & Sustainability as part of Small Business Month recently, I took away some valuable tips from Co-Founder of Planet Ark, Jon Dee . The focus of the presentation was on reducing paper usage, however, there were also tips provided on how to save on electricity, fuel and water.

I thought it would be worthwhile to share these tips with the Pyrmont community to help us not only reduce our impact on the environment but to save some dollars as well.

When it comes to electricity savings:

  • Switch to energy efficient lighting – this is the biggest saving and can save 20% energy use
  • Turn off lights when not needed
  • Use more natural light when possible
  • Install motion sensor lighting
  • Buy energy efficient equipment e.g. fridges – the more stars the better
  • Switch off equipment at night – do not use standby (this can save up to 10% off your electricity bill)
  • Do you need that many printers? consider wireless printers
  • Reduce the temperature by 1% – this can reduce your energy bill by 10%
  • Open a window
  • Don’t leave the air conditioning on at night

To save on Fuel:

  • Select an appropriate sized vehicle
  • Buy a fuel efficient vehicle
  • Check out Green Vehicle Guide – this helps you to compare and rate new cars based on greenhouse and air pollution emissions

I would consider not even having a car. There are many alternative options such as walking, cycling, public transport or rent, borrow or share a car for the time needed. I have given up my car and do not really miss it.

To reduce your water usage and costs:

  • Invest in a water filter – save on bottled water
  • Reuse your water bottle
  • Install water saving shower heads – only use half the amount of water – register online at to obtain your free water saving kit recommended for standard shower heads, hand basin and kitchen taps

The average Australian employee uses 10,000 pieces of office paper every year – using water, energy, pulp and greenhouse gas emissions.

To help reduce paper usage:

  • Purchase larger computer screens – improve productivity by up to 35%
  • Maximise use of electronic documents
  • When you need to print use two up (2 pages to a side) or duplex (printing on both sides of the paper) printing
  • Digitise documentation
  • Utilise electronic storage
  • Have customers fill in forms on line
  • Use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper
  • For your promotional materials, use pdf in landscape so that you it can be read on screen – there is no need to print the document
  • Send invoices and remittance advices via email
  • Rather than send a cheque, make electronic payments directly into a bank account

So take action, help save the planet and at the same time, cut your bill costs.

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