Some people may read an article about helping the environment, and take away one or two action steps to adopt in their daily life. Others may listen to politicians promoting a platform that includes increasing environmental awareness or protection. It can be a hot button issue particularly around election time, both nationally and locally.

Illustration by Sam—tan (deviantART).

Your children are undoubtedly learning about ways to help the environment at school and maybe they are bringing suggestions home for the family to consider. Another percentage of the general population is environmentally conscious and actively changing their normal routine to abandon old behaviors and replace them with new, green ways of doing things, like cleaning the house with eco-safe products or recycling all possible products that would have ended up in a landfill a few years ago.

So it seems safe to say that environmental awareness is increasing, although there is still a lot that can be done to prevent more harm and actually protect the environment. Encouraging all businesses (whether large corporations or small “Mom and Pop” shops) to refine their standard methods and shift to environmentally safe practices appears to be a somewhat uncommon avenue to achieve the primary goal of environmental preservation.

Artwork by StarwaltDesign (deviantART).

In Pennsylvania and other East Coast states, some major grocery store chains do not recycle. Just taking the very basic step of separating their trash has not been adopted. This is shocking especially when you consider that grocery stores produce a substantial amount of waste on a daily basis. Stores could recycle paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic, and more. Imagine what a difference grocery stores or any business could make if they had recycling bins for their employees and their customers to use too.

Although other companies could help to reduce environmental pollution by allowing at least some of their employees to telecommute, few are entertaining this idea that seems to be easily implemented. Another idea to reduce the number of cars on the road, particularly when they are traveling from the same neighborhood to the same office on the same schedule daily, would be for corporations to promote car pooling. Businesses could offer an incentive for their employees to share a ride to work, while alleviating parking headaches and decreasing hazardous vehicle emissions that cause irreversible damage to the environment.

Artwork by Humza Mehbub.

Five additional simple suggestions for businesses looking for ways to help the environment:

Encourage employees to turn off lights, computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, shredders, and any other electrical devices. This would prevent unnecessary damage to the environment, decrease the electric bill, and promote a habit that employees may take home with them.

Provide a water cooler or filtered water machine for your employees to refill their water jugs for free. This would discourage purchase of plastic water bottles, which are produced using oil and are not eco-friendly.

Replace regular light bulbs with LED bulbs, which are 100 percent recyclable. This would save on electricity usage, which would decrease the bill, and LED lighting reduces carbon emissions by more than 50 percent.

Adopt a highway or waterway to clean up or invest in a project to protect the environment, like creating a rain garden. Companies can promote employee participation by offering a monetary reward or a free paid day off. Added benefits of planning this type of employee activity are team-building and improved morale, which equals increased productivity.

Donate as a corporation to an environmental cause, or ask employees to make a financial contribution to a program that helps the environment. You can find details of waterway cleanup projects right here on Creeklife, which allows anyone to search for and/or fund opportunities to save watersheds for global impact.

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