Greening a business

Happy Pi Day! 3.14! Ok, so I’m a nerd. My son is one, too. He knows Pi to ten digits. Yeah, I’m raising him right.

Employment has been on my mind lately. I am in a bad position to get a job to put it lightly. I am beholden to whomever gives me a chance at this point. And I will be eternally grateful to whomever does. But, given the fact that many jobs are in the service industry or in corporate environments, how does one go about finding a green job or greening one’s workplace?

Green jobs can be obvious – work for a recycling plant or an environmental nonprofit. Green jobs can be less obvious – financial advisor who specializes in green investing. But most jobs just aren’t that green. Corporate jobs still use a lot of paper. Many places recycle it, but many places could benefit from going closer to paperless. Suggest ways to do that to management. Service industry jobs are better but some stores insist on printing out six inch long receipts for one package of gum. Or reams of special offers with your receipt. Suggest to the corporate office that they email the special offers (since most stores take your email address anyway) rather than printing them at the point of sale. Food service is harder. You could suggest composting but the sheer volume and pace of most restaurants makes that difficult. Recycling is less difficult but many fast food containers can’t be recycled. Suggest to corporate that they move to recyclable containers and put recycling bins in the stores.

Greening a business can be challenging, no question. But there are usually ways it can be done. Rare is the business that’s totally green. Sometimes the best you can do is make suggestions to management or the corporate office and hope they aren’t ignored. That’s OK. At least you’ve tried. If enough people do it, it will make a difference.

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