by Mary Girsch-Bock –
While going about the business of managing properties, it’s easy to forget about the impact our typical business day can have on the environment.
While there are several long term investments you can make to reduce your carbon footprint such as installing low flow toilets in each apartment, or xeriscaping the lawn to reduce water consumption, there are several easy, inexpensive things you can do to conserve energy and leave the environment just a little bit cleaner and your carbon footprint a little bit lighter. Here are just a few:
- If you’re not already doing so, begin to recycle all of your paper, plastics, and aluminum cans. Also make sure that your residents have access to recycle containers if the local waste management company doesn’t supply them.
- Reduce the amount of documents that you print. Coming from a reformed print-junkie, I can tell you that this is not as simple as it sounds; particularly in a paper-driven industry like property management. This becomes much easier when using web-based software or document management software.
- When it is necessary to print, use the duplex print setting, which allows you to print on both sides of the paper, reducing the number of sheets of paper that are used daily.
- Change out all incandescent light bulbs and replace them with energy efficient fluorescent bulbs, which are designed to last for years.
Did you know that office machines can account for an astounding 40% of electrical consumption annually? That’s a lot of electricity used and paid for. Try doing the following to reduce your consumption:
- Do an inventory of your office machines and try to replace anything more than ten years old with a more energy-efficient model.
- Remember to turn off computers and monitors at night.
- Be sure to use the power-save setting on the office copier which is easily the biggest energy drain in any office.
- Laptops use about 50% less power than a typical desktop computer. If you’re thinking about upgrading computer equipment, consider moving to laptops.
- Consider ditching vending machines. Keeping a vending machine plugged in 24-7 uses a tremendous amount of electricity, and it’s unlikely that the machine is making enough money to pay for that energy drain.
While there are many options available for conserving energy and reducing your carbon footprint, changing only a few things can have a big impact on the environment and a small impact on your budget.