Monday, January 26, 2009

Greener Printing From Your Computer

Before you print that next document, here are some ways you can achieve greener printing from your computer.

  1. Make sure you are using an EnergyStar printer (and computer). You may think this one's a no-brainer and you've got it covered, but wait...did you know that computer standards were revised in 2007 and new printer standards take effect this year? So if your computer is older that 2007 and your printer is older than 2009, it may no longer meet EnergyStar standards, even though it met the standards that were in place at the time it was manufactured. If you should decide to upgrade, don't forget to recycle the old one!

  2. Change the margins. Read the studies from both Penn State University and Michigan State University. The Penn State study suggested that changing all university printer default margins to .75” (adding 19% more print space to the page) could save the university over $122,000/year and Michigan State estimated a savings of $67,512/year.

  3. Use paper with recycled content. Although both the Penn State and Michigan State studies found that switching to recycled content paper was more expensive, this has not been the case in my consulting experience. Many businesses that are not under contractual purchasing agreements do have the flexibility to comparison shop. A recent client was able to save 10% on paper costs by switching from virgin fiber to recycled content paper. Other "green" options are to look for unbleached paper or, better yet, tree-free paper!

  4. Recycle and buy recycled. Recycle your paper, toner cartridges, and ink jet cartridges. And don't forget to buy recycled, too!

  5. Install software to manage and reduce paper usage. Print management software programs (such as PaperCut, GreenPrint, and many others) can reduce printed pages and printer waste.

  6. Use vegetable-based ink toner. SoyPrint is an environmentally-friendly alternative to petroleum-based toner. Look for additional vegetable-based toners and ink jet cartridges to hit the market soon.

  7. Change the font. A Dutch company has created Ecofont, a new font that requires up to 20% less ink. Ecofont is free to download and use.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Caracalla - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Caracalla (Little Rock AR) is a salon and day spa with an aggressive recycling program that extends beyond the typical recycling of waste. Some of the unique ways in which Caracalla supports the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra are to buy reclaimed items for retail sale (such as mittens and hats made from old discarded sweaters), they sell vintage items, they recycle cut hair by sending it to Matter of Trust to be woven into hair mats capable of absorbing chemical oil spills, and they recycle worn pantyhose/stockings with Matter of Trust for the same purpose. In addition, the company purchases and sells recycled items, such as paper, bags, office supplies, toilet tissue, hand towels, pet toys, and even biodegradeable bags for picking up dog waste. The salon is decorated with reclaimed and vintage items and uses or sells eco-friendly products, such as homemade herbal wraps (no packaging waste!), bamboo hairbrushes, hemp bags, natural hair and body products, soy candles in recycled glass jars, efficient lighting, and reusable coffee mugs.

Caracalla supports the local economy by purchasing from local and organic suppliers, particularly other sustainable or green businesses, and buys in bulk to reduce packaging waste. The company also supports the local community through charitable donations and by offering free haircuts to customers who are donating hair to charity.

Caracalla was opened in 1997 by Ella Hunt.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sustainability Conferences for 2009 - Mark Your Calendars!

Each month we list upcoming webinars on sustainability-related topics. However, there are still plenty of face-to-face conferences on a variety of topics of interest to the sustainable business. Here are a few conferences to mark in your 2009 calendar.

2009 State of Green Business Forum (Feb. 2, San Francisco CA)

UK Anti-Corruption Summit (Feb. 2-4, London UK)

Jerome Ringo: Environmental Evangelist (Feb. 8, Little Rock AR, contact: ARMFSA[at]

Green Investments Summit (Feb. 9-10, Hong Kong)

Jerome Ringo of the Apollo Alliance Speaks on Green Jobs (Feb. 9-10, Little Rock AR, contact: 501-372-6092)

Climate Change Summit 2009 (Feb. 17-18, London UK)

Doing Good & Doing Well (Feb. 27-28, Barcelona Spain)

Green Festival (March 28-29, Seattle WA)

Wall Street Green Trading Summit (April 1-2, New York NY)

Carbon TradeEx America (April 7-8, Washington DC)

FORTUNE Brainstorm: Green (April 20-22, Laguna Niguel CA)

Green Supply Chain Summit (April 21-22, London UK)

Green Festival (May 2-3, Denver CO)

Responsible Business Summit (May 11-12, London UK)

Global Anti-Corruption Summit (May 14-15, Washington DC)

Green Festival (May 16-17, Chicago IL)

Green Festival (Oct. 10-11, Washington DC)

Net Impact North American Conference (Nov. 13-14, New York NY)

Green Business Conference (Nov. 11-12, San Francisco CA)

Green Festival (Nov. 13-15, San Francisco CA)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery (New York NY) is an eco-friendly bakery like no other. A creation of The City Bakery, there are two Birdbath locations in Greenwich Village. Pastries are baked at the east location and transported via bicycle rickshaw to the west location. Pastries, of course, are made from local and organic ingredients. But how does Birdbath incorporate sustainability into its business practices and operations?

At Birdbath, the walls are made of wheat, cups made of corn, and countertops made of 100% recycled paper. The bakery was constructed with water-based stains and sealers and used non-toxic paints inside and out. The bakery chose recycled or reclaimed materials for the floors, front door, tin roof, and light fixtures and uses energy-efficient lightbulbs. Birdbath composts, recycles, and is solar-powered. The bakery also offers a 25% discount to those arriving by bicycle or skateboard. And staff wear custom-made jackets made from linen, hemp, and vintage clothing.

Maury Rubin opened The City Bakery in 1990 and his first Birdbath bakery in 2006.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Habana Outpost - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Habana Outpost (Brooklyn New York) is a one-of-a-kind restaurant experience that begins with the outdoor food truck (a restored U.S. postal service truck)--that's right, there's no indoor kitchen at this restaurant! Habana Outpost is solar-powered, has both indoor and outdoor seating, uses compostable biodegradable plates, cups, and utensils, has tables made from recycled materials, has a rainwater collection system to water plants and flush toilets, runs a human-powered bicycle-propelled juice blender, and composts and recycles waste.

In addition to these restaurant features, Habana Outpost serves as a community gathering place offering weekly movie nights and a host of other activities. For example, the Kid's Corner offers ecological activities and an "alternative heroes" coloring book (about real-life heroes!). The restaurant hosts a weekend market of local vendors and weekly fashion shows for local designers. They host an annual Earth Day Expo of informative and interactive displays on sustainability and have a gallery display of local artist's works.

Habana Outpost is one of three Habana restaurants in New York City. The company operates Habana Works, Inc., a nonprofit offering free sustainability-related workshops through various programs such as Habana Labs and Urban Studio Brooklyn. Habana Labs is dedicated to researching, developing, applying and teaching the best technology related to ecology and sustainable energy. The most recent Habana Labs project is the Offgrid Outlet, a motorized, sun-following solar panel. Another program of Habana Works is the Urban Studio Brooklyn, an architectural design/build program which recently launched the Fishmobile, a human-powered mobile fishing clinic/wetlab.

Habana Outpost was opened in 2005 by Sean Meenan owner of Manhattan's Cafe Habana and Habana To Go; the company of restaurants was started in 1998. Watch one of their many videos here.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

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