Planet EcoBusiness

Merging calculations and ideas into something eco-brilliant.

“Quo Vadis = Where are you going?” December 8, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts,General Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 8:31 PM

This will be my last blog post for the semester. However, I will still try and post some interesting things related to the business field and environment later on.

Last year, I was given a Quo Vadis planner. I didn’t realize that its cover along with its pages are eco-friendly! I was cleaning out my closet during Thanksgiving break when I found this and the front had said “Made out of eco-friendly materials”. So I thought it would be interesting to bring up something that many people use their daily lives.

I googled “Quo Vadis” and came up with their website. According to their website,”Quo Vadis developed planners with recycled paper for people who prefer this option. Unlike other recycled paper, Equology paper is crisp, very white, and good to write on. Equology planners come bound or refillable.”

Elements:
“-Alkaline/neutral paper
-Certified EcoLogo, chlorine-free and FSC recycled paper
-Manufactured using biogas energy”

It has a logo I really like, shown here.

The cover that I have is really nice. It has a “rubber feel” to it and it’s definitely great to use. They come in many colors, so when you are purchasing a Quo Vadis planner, you can choose from a variety of styles and colors. If you are in need of a planner for the coming 2011, be sure to check out Quo Vadis planners. I highly recommend it! They offer refills too, so only the yearly pages have to be replaced. The cover can always stay the same, if you decide not to change it every year.

Here is the website. Please take a look at it!
http://www.quovadisplanners.com/

How does this all fit into the eco-friendly business environment? Well, planners are usually used by many people and this is the perfect opportunity to purchase a stylish planner that also saves the planet!

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“The New Wave of Green Cars” December 1, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts,General Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 5:41 PM

In my recent posts, I’ve been mentioning many environmental-friendly products and steps that different businesses and corporations around the world are taking. However, there’s another really important part of this green direction in which many aspects of our society is heading towards that I haven’t yet talked about here. This includes the way our very own transportation is changing.

Under Yahoo’s Auto News, I found a recent article published online that gave information on a series of “green cars” that are underway in the coming 2011. For the past three or four years, I have been seeing several advertisements on new hybrid cars in many different models. For instance, one very typical hybrid car we see (also mentioned in this article) is the Toyota Prius. Obviously, we are making progress in terms of producing and using the things around us that are more environmental-friendly. This is really important because transportation is so vital when it comes to travelling to visit family or even simply to buy groceries. Cars are almost like our daily travel companions. Therefore, it only makes sense to change the type of energy in which our cars are using.

The article explains that the launch of the Chevrolet Volt from General Motors and the Leaf from Nissan in December will eventually promote the new trend of electric, hybrid, and plug-in electric cars. However, these new vehicles will be launched regionally, meaning that they’re only available in certain states. Due to necessity of a charging network and other important features that are still being developed, there are limited launches into the mass market.

The article provides the following websites for reference in terms of availability and most things there is to know about these kinds of cars.

http://www.hybridcars.com

pluginamerica.org.

Some other types of cars such as the Coda sedan will have a federal tax rebate along with state incentives. However, these are more unlikely to be found in the mass market, for they are only available through certain markets and retail stores.

I don’t usually follow-up with these kinds of auto news, but I thought it would be interesting to share. If you have some time, definitely take a look at the article here. Whether or not you’re planning to participate in this new “green” trend vehicle-wise, it’s still something fun to read and learn about. This type of production is always a slower process and can take many years to develop.

 

Facebook Goes Green November 18, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts,General Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 9:32 AM

Nowadays, it’s quite obvious that Facebook has impacted the way many groups are supporting causes and using the online domain to spread awareness.  These last couple of days, I’ve been following many articles and blogs relating to Facebook that talk about how Facebook has begun to incorporate elements of the eco-friendly movement into their business operations. I recently read an article that dealt with the way Facebook is merging eco-friendly ideas into their daily management of the domain.

When I found out about it, I “Liked” the official “Green on Facebook” page. As of right now, there are 56, 923 Facebook users who have “Liked” this. Most of the time, my Facebook friends may recommend me pages that I am not interested in. This time however, I immediately clicked “Like” for their Go-Green page because I want to be a part of this and see how it continues to expand around the world. This is a great beginning because Facebook is taking advantage of its popularity and promoting something that is not only interesting to learn about, but at the same time, a great way of spreading the word between “Friends” on Facebook.

Their Info section of the page states, “we are taking proactive steps as a company to implement responsible sustainability practices throughout Facebook. This includes our own efforts toward energy efficient computing, smart practices by our employees and our facilities, sensible advocacy and partnerships and leveraging the social sustainability of our platform.” The Info section goes on to describe their efforts in CPU usage. There’s also a section titled “Programs” where Facebook goes into more detail regarding its “Green Programs” and “Energy Efficient Computing”.  Most importantly, I liked how they included partnerships with other companies such as the “Alliance to Save Energy”, “Digital Energy Solutions Campaign”, and the “Green Grid”. In both the partners “Alliance to Save Energy” and “DESC”, they have designed their page so that readers can see that they’re connected to Facebook. I think this is really important because not only are they showing this important partnership with Facebook, they’re spreading their campaign into a public domain like Facebook where people log on almost every day. According to an article on Facebook’s initiatives,  “[there are] water conservation efforts that have cut water used by the 1,700 Facebook employees by 60 percent, a Google-esque employee shuttle program that 40 percent of employees use instead of driving to work, and recycling and composting efforts in-house”. Although there are some criticisms out there, it seems that Facebook is starting from a low point which will eventually expand to a point where everyone is aware of this campaign.

They are still in their early stages of this, so we’ll see what happens and hopefully, this awareness can influence other large corporations and businesses to try something similar. I just thought this would be an interesting point to share because Facebook is such a popular online community where the younger generations can take charge, create new innovative ideas, and help spread the cause by standing up and promoting this to their families and friends to join the cause. And what about the older generations? The same thing applies to them- there seems to have been an increasing amount of the older generations beginning to use Facebook to connect with their family (children, grandchildren, long-time friends etc.) They can help the same way by talking about the importance of going green and spreading the word through places like Facebook.

Below is an image that represents Facebook’s green initiatives.

 

Hyatt Hotels-Eco-Friendly Meetings November 10, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 10:31 PM

What comes to your mind when you read this phrase, “Great happens when people get together”?  Everyone may have a different interpretation. You might have heard it somewhere, or you may not have even heard of it before. I’ve been seeing this phrase in an ad many times when I log onto Facebook or when I’m researching a topic for a project in one of my classes. It seems to always be there, so I decided to look more into out of curiosity. The word “Green” in the ad really stood out to me the first time, so I was curious to know what these ads were all about.

It turns out, the ad is hosted by the Hyatt Hotel chains and it’s designed to attract business people around the world who may be planning to stay in one of their hotels or book an official business meeting in their hotel. According to their website designed for these events, the Southwest Hotels (including many hotel chains in California) are offering a great deal that not only helps their clients save money but  helps spread the awareness and importance of saving the planet by taking simple steps in the business world. I think this is a really neat idea and it’s honestly the first time I’ve heard of this in connecting businesses such as hotel chains to promote environmental preservation. Whether or not business clubs or members use this to their advantage, it certainly is a next step in promoting even greater possibilities for businesses to merge and adopt the idea of saving the environment.

They have several links that explain the guidelines and what their purpose is on their website. In my opinion, I think they did an excellent job in merging their own logo and company tagline with what their purpose is-which is to serve the business needs of businesses by incorporating the idea of being eco-friendly at the same time. Their original tagline is the one I mentioned in the beginning of this blog post-“Great happens when people get together”. They expand this by advertising, “But now greater happens when green happens”. The whole “green” idea is emphasized and focused. The logo still meets the business people’s goals and needs, but simply adds a new element to these meetings. (more…)

 

Pens and the Environment November 4, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts,General Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 3:08 PM

I recently realized that I have been paying more attention to the little things that I never would have looked at more than once. One of these is the writing and never ending graphics and advertising found on pens. I have always ignored the meaning behind the tiny letters found on pencils, pens, and other writing instruments. I read them once and never really think why it is there. Why is it there? People misplace pens all the time, so what is the purpose? Other than an easy marketing strategy, I think there is more meaning behind these advertising strategies. What’s printed on the pens actually make the audience think-think about why the information is there and what it serves as.

My mom recently asked me if I wanted pens from a real estate expo she attended a couple of weeks ago. My initial reaction was, “Why would I want pens?-I have a ton of them!” However, as I looked over which pens I wanted, I noticed that a few pens related to the theme of my blog. Environment. Renewables. Recycling. Green. These are important keywords for businesses that are beginning to “go green”. While this can be challenging in some ways to promote, the advertising on products that the public uses daily (such as pens) can catch the attention of many people including myself. In this case, the first thing that caught my eye was the use of the coloring. I saw the color green everywhere on the pen. The pen has a dark-green tip and end with light green writing in the middle of the pen. Then as I flipped the pen, I found this common message- “Made with 71% pre-consumer recycled plastic”. And of course, the pen provided a link for marketing. I checked out this link and it is interesting to see how the National Association of Realtors has begun to incorporate different elements of an environmental-friendly business environment in real estate. They have networks to connect realtors together and even a whole page dedicated to why going green is vital to the future success of businesses and a rewarding future. Even minimal business products such as pens can make a difference in the long run.

NAR’s Green Designation website: http://greenresourcecouncil.org

The same concept works for larger entertainment industries such as Disney. Just a few days ago, my roommate gave me a Disneyland pen that she had received at work. She was given a huge batch of these Disneyland eco-friendly pens and she didn’t know what to do, so she gave them to her friends. The pen is simple and has a very eco-friendly feel to it. Similar to the pens my mom gave me, the tips are dark green and really stand out from other pens. (more…)

 

“To Do Well By Doing Good” October 28, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 1:58 PM

Sometimes I feel as if all the possible ideas in the world for turning businesses into a more environmental-friendly company or corporation has already been experimented with or promoted to the general public. Although we see certain products such as eco-friendly thermal cups and reusable grocery bags, we are not really making a huge impact yet.

“To Do Well By Doing Good”. This is an important phrase that Stephen Schneider said. In an online article titled “Alums Explore Eco-Friendly Business Ventures” by Michele Chandler (found on Stanford University’s School of Business website) , Stephen Schneider is one important figure mentioned in the article along with many other professionals, professors, and experts. He is a scientist and professor who strongly believes that businesses can connect to the idea of saving the planet and still earning profits along the way. This is an important aspect of the business world since businesses commonly don’t want to risk the huge shift in business operations. This is definitely understandable, but businesses can gain benefits and show the public that it is possible to think eco-friendly.

The article also introduces Ade Dosunmu, an alum of Stanford University who, at the time that this article was written in (2008), was creating a new way to let households measure the amount of energy each household consumes. Although he was in the early stages of creating this method two years ago, we obviously don’t tend to see people using it regularly. This gap in participation from consumers is where we can learn from each other and build up on new methods to increase participation in the “go-green” movement. In addition, Stephen Paradis is another important figure who, at the time was trying to find ways to go green at his own workplace. For example, he believed that “encouraging the thousands of park volunteers to carpool when coming to perform cleanup and maintenance work on the trail or using low-emission vehicles to haul supplies”. This is important because although we carpool nowadays, there isn’t enough emphasis on how small actions such as carpooling can eliminate pollution and save the planet.  The article also mentions many other important figures with a huge role in connecting businesses to saving the world. These individuals are working hard to make the world a better place by taking action and contributing their ideas and opinions to the cause. If every one can participate in one way or another, businesses can change the materials they use and base their ideology and supply on environmental-friendly factors.

The first link provided is for the article stated above. The second link is a website called “Call2Recycle” in which anyone can recycle their old cell phones and batteries. I thought this would be useful to include because my family has many cell phones that are just sitting around in my house. It would be benefiting a global environmental cause if we could recycle those old cell phones. There are more details about how to recycle these cell phones and what types of batteries are accepted.

1) http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/bmag/sbsm0805/feature-ecofriendlybusiness.html

2) http://www.call2recycle.org/home.php?c=1&w=1&r=Y

 

Turn of the Green October 21, 2010

Filed under: Environmental Business Posts — Planet EcoBusiness @ 11:31 AM

Will businesses that are beginning to alternate their business office environment into a more eco-friendly surrounding really be benefiting to the business itself? Is technology always beneficial in helping to save the environment?

These are just two common questions that many businesses are facing. I’ve been wondering about this for a few weeks now. It seems that everywhere I go, I see some new kind of way of protecting the environment. In business offices, larger business buildings, movie theaters, and even stores, it is common for the restrooms to have the automatic toilet flusher where the toilet has a sensor and flushes automatically. In positive ways, this method is more sanitary and much more convenient. However, I also wondered if there were any negative affects of this automatic toilet flusher. I looked it up and came up with this: Sometimes the sensor automatically flushes when there’s any sort of movement. This wastes the electricity running the automatic flusher and the water whenever the sensor senses something and flushes repeatedly. According to Green Prophet, “this product is a perfect example of where people’s needs conflict with the environment, but then again it’s the balance that’s important”.

The automatic toilet flusher is a simple example that is sometime seen by the general public as an “environmental friendly” product, but instead its function wastes natural resources such as water and energy in the form of electricity. A resourceful article found on GreenBiz.com states five different points explaining how going green helps maintain a business and why it helps in the long run.

Basically, it seems to be all about a “sustainability strategy” that mirrors a business that grows alongside its environmental goals, meaning that adding a focus on becoming environmental friendly will help the business itself. This is really interesting because I would think that it takes time, effort, and money to produce and follow a sustainability goal. GreenBiz notes that as government regulations are imposed on these businesses, there will be an even greater need for these businesses to seek new ways to develop an environmental business surrounding. Additionally, energy bills are also increasing, so a new way of conserving energy would be very profitable to the office environment. GreenBiz adds how many times younger generation of workers create new innovations that continue to bring up new ideas or systems to protect our natural resources. Similar to the amount of water and electricity the automatic flusher wastes, it’s reasonable to come up with  news ways of incorporating the environmental-friendly products into the office environment.

Although many of these reasons apply more to smaller and middle-sized companies, it’s still important for all types of businesses because our views are changing and we can already see changes going on in different businesses around the world. Whether it’s changing the theme of the business to a greener theme or changing smaller aspects of the business such as energy-saving lightbulbs, the change will begin a trend that may change the world over a short period of time.

The images below show a different type of eco-friendly architecture compared to what we’re used to seeing. The first is an image showing the interior of this “green-architecture” office building. We can see that half of the building depends on natural light from the sun. The second image shows a different angle of how the building looks from the outside. The building uses natural energy to light the room and glass walls so that these office workers inside the building can experience the natural world around them.