by R. Michael Richmond
To be a Green business requires more than superficial efforts. There are hundreds of Green solutions that need to be applied to a business operation and generally most self-acclaimed Green business apply on a few modest Green ideas. Paper is one of the basic issues of any Green business, and yet little is actually done to address paper issues in a business.

Furthermore, it would be good to understand that paper and paper products compose 36% of municipal solid waste. If we look at the cradle to the grave cycle of paper, it is important to know that the largest amount of what we are throwing into the landfills is paper. This actuality brings any smart person to two types of solutions on the downstream side of paper. Reducing how much paper we use and employing better methods to recycle paper rather than throwing paper in the trash can are Green solutions.

There are the simple ideas of printing on both sides of the page or buying recycled paper. Some would recommend using the phone is Greener then mailing a letter. Other people love to increase the margins on our word process. The little changes add up, but it looks like we are still ignoring the bigger, more practical solutions for reducing and reusing paper.

Some upstream concerns of paper manufactures or suppliers begin with the harvesting of trees that are then turned into wood pulp. This process is a topic that is easily research, and the more curious individuals will discover that the chemicals used are not in fact dangerous. The chemical that gives the most problems is chlorine, which is used to bleach paper to the expected white color.

Waste water from pulp and paper factories is a relatively unreported issue, but the waste water includes various toxic chemicals like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as terpenes, alcohols, phenols, methanol, acetone, chloroform, methyl ethyl ketone; detergents and surfactants; dyes and pigments; acids; and alkaline solutions.

Air pollutants by the paper industry contain carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxides, carbon monoxide, ammonia, VOCs, and small particles like dust and ash. When fully considered, paper making could not be considered a Green business. The downstream impact of the waste created by paper production brings anyone to the unmistakable conclusion that paper use is a serious environmental issue and one that could be tremendously improved.

Most of paper reduction strategies involve printing both side of paper, copying less, stopping magazines and junk mail. Some companies are asking their employees to increase the use of email. No one should ignore the importance of using recycled paper in the daily office operation. There are dozens of easy-to-apply ideas. Nevertheless, a very efficient solution seems to have eluded the environmentally-astute organizations like the NRDC. The new solution is the paperless office that works to eliminate paper use in the office.

The paperless system often includes: 1)Virtual meeting services that will solve travel and wasted time, 2) Software programs, such as accounting, billing and payroll, 3) Replacing fax machines with online services that can turn faxes into emails with a push of a button, 4) Document storage and retrieval programs.

The problem with these Green solutions is that they are trouble to install and requires a change to the office as well as training of the employees. The early transition is a hurdle, but results are immense. Installing these paperless solutions will reduce paper use, decrease paper waste, and it will literally speed up the office. The savings are not just in paper costs, but the fact that fewer employees can do more work. The efficiency factor can save a business thousands of dollars in operational costs and will greatly impress your customers.

About the Author:
To gain a Green Business there need be a proven, trust worthy, and valid certification. There is an enormous amount of greenwashing, propaganda, and green lies that Green businesses need be evade. Green businesses can do this by being qualified through Green Business League, which is a nationally renowned authority. Remember, Green businesses are gained not bought.

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