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Janice France-Pettit: Why it pays for you to go green

Union Bank

Posted: October 8, 2010 10:21 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

It takes little effort to go green. 

While your business is helping to protect the environment, you may end up saving money, a real incentive in today’s tight economy. 

Here are some other ways in which you may wish to join the green revolution while also saving money:

Go paperless

Consider remote-deposit banking and paying bills online. Other business correspondence with vendors and customers may also be generated online and shared without printing.

Energy audit
Business owners may be wasting more energy than they realize. An energy audit can help pinpoint ways to waste less and save money. Southern California Edison offers a free nonresidential energy audit for mid-sized businesses. The online audit survey will help you understand your facility’s energy use. Visit www.sce.com/b-rs/small-medium/audit/non-residential-audit.htm  for more information. Private companies also provide this service so check the Internet or ask for a referral from your utilities provider.

Energy savings
Fixing drafty windows and doors and switching to energy-efficient windows, skylights and exterior doors may reduce heating and air conditioning costs.  A programmable thermostat may allow businesses to preset a temperature so heat and air-conditioning units are not running when the office is closed. Switching to fluorescent lights and using timers and turning off computers when not in use may also help save resources and money. Some energy-saving products may be eligible for tax credits. See IRS.gov for details. 

Less waste
Businesses may want to review their product packaging to see if they are able to eliminate excess materials or switch to using recycled packaging products.  Recycling ink cartridges, toner cartridges and discarded paper is another relatively easy way to go green.

Driving
Going Green may be as simple as encouraging employees to walk or bike to work at least once a week.  Switching to hybrid cars for the company fleet may save money in the long run.

Commuting
Employers might consider instituting a telecommuting plan, where workers who do not have to be at the office daily can work from home.

Green shopping
When shopping, you may choose from a variety of green and environmentally friendly products, such as those that are made of recycled or renewable materials, or are bio-based or nontoxic.

Janice France-Pettit is a senior vice president and regional manager for Union Bank. The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about financing choices for home improvements and is not considered financial or tax advice from Union Bank. Ms. France-Pettit’s column represents her own views, and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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