2019 GREEN Business Award

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In October, the Chamber of the Northern Poconos will present their annual awards dinner that honors philanthropic and entrepreneurial achievements in our community. For 6 years now, The Chamber and SEEDS have partnered to also present a Green Business Award at the dinner.

“It is important to recognize the sustainability initiatives our region’s businesses are implementing”, Executive Director Jocelyn Cramer noted about this award. “Previous GREEN Business Award winners  exemplify this area’s innovation and commitment to the environment”.

Here is an application form for the 2018 Green Business Award, due August 24th.

Green Business Nomination Form 2018 (1)

If your business is not yet a member of The Chamber of the Northern Poconos, you can find a membership application HERE.

What makes a business GREEN? 

“I think any business can and should grow greener, regardless of the industry or number of employees. After all, we know that certain measures can save money, and we know that customers are increasingly interested in earth-friendly business practices.” said Cramer.

Being GREEN means a business is committed to the triple bottom line of people, profit and planet.

Here are ways you can make any business GREENER…

1. Recycling is a great way to start, and something that can always be improved upon. Unless a company is at zero waste (which is amazing!) they can recycle, reuse, repair, re purpose more. Want help knowing what can be recycled and where, visit: www.NEPArecycles.com. This website was created by the Wayne Tomorrow sustainability committee to encourage more recycling and demonstrate many of the community initiatives available in Wayne County.

2. Reduce energy load – upgrade lighting, patch air – breeches, clean and maintain heating and cooling systems, install programmable thermostats and vacancy sensors. Improve insulation. All of these measures can save money in the long run and demonstrate efficient facilities management to your employees and customer base. Patching air-breeches is quick and easy, and usually pays for itself very quickly. Buy a little caulk (spend a couple dollars more on the good stuff), expandable foam and weatherstripping. Not sure how to do this – you can find YouTube “How To” Videos on almost anything. Typically, lighting upgrades can produce the next quickest return on your investment, resulting in positive cash flow within a few months. PPL has rebates and incentives to help their business customers. Visit: https://www.pplelectricbusinesssavings.com/

3. Switch to  green electricity – PA utility customers can shop for their electric generation company. The best resource is www.PAPowerSwitch.com. In just a few moments, you can see all the options available in your area. Enter your zip code, filter the options that matter to you most (choose the renewable energy option) and make your switch! Once you do – make sure to share this info with your employees and customers.

4. Install a renewable energy system to heat or cool your building and reduce carbon emissions. If you are not sure how to get started, contact SEEDS for further info and guidance.

5. Donate to an environmental non-profit organization. Publicize your charity. Ok, we’re biased. We think SEEDS is a well deserving organization that has been promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable living in notheast PA for 10 years. Click HERE to donate today.

6. Encourage employees to ride share when possible. Enterprise offers an excellent Ride Share program for larger businesses. Click HERE for more info.

7. Purchase local food and encourage employees to do the same. Our local agricultural heritage can be protected and improved with the growing demand for local, healthy food. Often, not knowing where to buy local food is an issue, or not knowing when the farmer’s markets are. SEEDS has compiled a Local Farmer’s Market Buying Guide HERE.

8. Save water. Water is becoming an increasingly precious commodity. Upgrade toilets, shower heads,  washing machines, and dishwashers to high efficiency, low flow options. Reduce the amount of water used wherever you can. Saving water also saves money  – less pumping. And saving hot water saves the most money.

9. Print less. Print doubles-sided.  Nearly all large companies have adopted double-sided printing as the norm. Most have also removed all personal printers and installed only shared printers with personalized print security codes. This initiative is helping people adopt to paperless administration. It also has reduce printing by over 60% in many cases, saving companies incredible money on paper and print cartridges/toners. Also, some fonts use much less ink than others. Changing your default fonts can save lots of money!

10. Offer telecommuting when possible. When employers can offer their employees the option of working some hours from home, we get it, the main reason may not be the environment. This options give an employee flexibility  –  it saves them time and gas money. Telecommuting options are also known to be an attractive employee retention tool.

11. Use Earth Friendly Cleaning products. Eliminating harmful chemicals from your cleaning routine can help your employees who are allergic or intolerant of cleaning chemicals. Some people do not even realize they allergic or intolerant, and think they have seasonal allergies. It may be the cleaning products, air-freshners or candles!  There are wonderful natural options for room fresheners and fragrances. You can visit Honesdale’s own Mount Pleasant Herbary for great products. Stores are carrying a larger selection of natural cleaning products. Ask for them if you don’t see them, and you can help shop owners know of your interest in their stocking more options.

12. Invest locally. Investing money in your community sustains your community. Here in northeastern PA, we are very fortunate to have so many businesses support their communities. Shop local, and encourage all your employees to shop local. They are literally helping their neighbors and friends. Shopping local includes the doctors you choose, insurance brokers you work with and your bank. Another way to invest locally is to become a member/investor in the Clean Energy Co-Op, a for profit cooperative that finances community clean energy projects. Member/investors get a return on their investment, and the community has an increase in renewable energy systems, and reduces carbon emissions for us all.

13. Your turn. Share your ideas with us. There is a lot more than what you reading here, so share with us any practices you have implemented. We’d love to hear about it!

HEALTH — we have shared a lot of good ideas to make your business greener, and one of the many reasons to do so, is to help promote good health. A reduction in carbon emissions means better health for all of us. Eliminating harmful  chemicals from our food means better health for all of us. Many sustainability practices were known and preached by our very recent ancestors. Sustainability isn’t hard or new. It takes just a moment:

to think about how our habits and routines can be improved

to think about how we can save money and resources

and to think about how we can do less damage to our earth and ourselves.

Share any of your comments or ideas with us. Email jocelyn@SeedsGroup.net.