Tips on How to Become a Greener Business

By Ted Huang, Webcor Builders Inc.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Webcor Builders Inc. has incorporated the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra into its sustainable business practices. Below are some tips from Ted Huang, sustainability engineer with Webcor. These tips are an excerpt from an article Huang wrote which originally appeared in the April 2009 American Society of Concrete Contractors' newsletter.

Reduce

  • Reduce energy consumption. Turn off lights or install timers or motion sen¬sors. Set your computers to low energy mode after hours.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). Replace regular fluorescent bulbs with the low mercury kind.
  • Reduce paper consumption by default¬ing printers to double-sided; remove your name from mailing lists to reduce junk mail: https://www.dmachoice.org/MPS/
  • Install low-flow toilets and water restrictors on faucets and shower heads.
  • Reduce car usage by reimbursing employees who take public transit, introducing incentives for purchasing high efficiency personal vehicles, car¬pooling, or riding a bike.
  • Avoid disposable products: paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, paper towels, cups.
  • Ban disposable water bottles. Consider purchasing reusable water bottles for employees.
  • Ask your office supplier for items with less packaging.

Reuse

  • Purchase reusable products, such as rechargeable batteries and towels.
  • Print on both sides of office paper and write notes on scrap paper.
  • Reuse binders and file folders.
  • Setup a "Product/Material Exchange" with your offices so materials can go to those who need it.

Recycle

  • Paper, cardboard, plastics, cans, bottles, etc.
  • To increase recycling rates, label all recycling bins (from debris boxes to office bins).
  • Recycle all concrete; if possible, grind and reuse onsite.
  • Use higher levels of fly ash and SCMs in your mix designs when appropriate.
  • Buy recycled and recyclable products.
  • Responsibly recycle e-Waste - tele¬visions, cellular phones, computers, and consumer electronics. Make sure your e-Waste recycler is e-Stewards certified.

To learn more about making your business more sustainable check out "It IS Easy Being Green" from the June/July 2010 issue of Concrete Contractor.

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