How To Green Your Office

Graymatter’s Guide To Greener Business Practices

Part One

Find Sustainable Strategies

When we set out to go green at work, I was amazed to learn how toxic our office was (and still is!).   Nearly everything was suspect.  Obvious culprits like computers and light bulbs didn’t surprise me but I hadn’t considered the adhesive on post-its, the ink in the toner cartridges or the furniture itself.  It was almost too much information, which made the process seem daunting.  So, after a deep breath,  we decided to take things one step at a time. As a matter of fact, I came to realize that the act of going green itself can be waistful.  You don’t necessarily want to rush right out and get rid of old computers and furniture (unless you have a hyper sensitive immune system).  That just adds to a landfill.  As with anything, the middle path, the path of moderation is often the wisest.  We came up with some broad stroke ‘strategies’, and I use that term loosely, that were sustainable to the environment and to our budget.  So, for us going green is an on-going process.  We’re more green today than we were yesterday but not as green as we’ll be tomorrow (I hope!).

Here are some of the first sustainable ‘strategies’ we came up with.  Maybe they’ll work for you or maybe you’ll come up with your own. Continue reading “How To Green Your Office”

Internet in the Election Year

The use of the Internet has changed the landscape of the American election process.  Candidates are using free resources like http://ustream.tv and http://youtube.com to get their message out with great success.  Web sites are used collect campaign money and put out calls to action.  Social networking sites have helped reach voters young and old.

These green methods are replacing the old wasteful election mailers.  We suggest these cadidates make a committment to greener business practices by using green web hosting such as Graymatter Green Web Hosting.

No Polar Ice This Summer? Holy Sh**!

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I’m sure I’m not the only one to catch their breath at the news.  Fifty percent chance the North Pole will be ice free for a short time this summer.  No ice.  None.

Scientists say it’s a 50-50 bet that the thin Arctic sea ice will completely melt away at the geographic North Pole.

The CNN video is a must-see if you haven’t already. When I first saw it I felt paralized, then panicked, then paralized again. I had the impulse to act, do something, anything, but nothing felt big enough.  My overflowing recycling bin seemed puny.  My oath to lower our electric bill seemed puny.  Walking to the store almost every time, seemed puny.  But if you took the time to add it all up, they didn’t seem quite as puny anymore.  Continue reading “No Polar Ice This Summer? Holy Sh**!”

Telecommuting as an Employee Benefit

When we offer employees the chance to work from home, they usually love it.  It’s become a perk for working with us – and it’s easy to set up.  There are a variety of ways to work with telecommuting employees, but I like videoconferencing the best.  It’s great to be able to see someone when you’re working with them.  There are two videoconferencing tools we use, iChat and Skype.  Some people feel iChat has better quality video but I prefer Skype.  The audio quality is so far superior it out weighs any minimal difference in video.  Bob O’Haver, my partner/husband here in the Berkshires has spent hours on end working virtually side by side with an associate in the LA area via Skype.  I admit it can take time to get used to being on camera, but after a while you forget it’s even on.  Be careful though…  forgetting you’re on camera can be embarrassing!  If you prefer, you can always make the video one way – so you can see them but they can’t see you.  I’ve also found the mute button to be a saving grace. 🙂 Continue reading “Telecommuting as an Employee Benefit”