It’s Earth Day and this year marks its 45th anniversary! The global theme this year is: “It’s Our Time to Lead”. As more than 1 billion people in 192 countries around the globe participate in activities and events to create greater environmental awareness we here at Intelex are doing the same.
In preparation for Earth Day, we asked our fellow Intelexians, including some of our executive how they lead and what they do to make a difference as it relates to the environment.
We got some great ideas and cool stories along the way….
Katy, Documentation Specialist on lessons in Recycling
As a little girl, I’d visit my grandparent’s island cottage. Because anything that couldn’t be recycled had to be taken back to the mainland, dirty paper was burned, vegetable scraps went into a pit, and cans were crushed flat. I feel lucky that I got such a down-to-earth recycling lesson as a child, because it makes it so easy now – paper products in the green bin or blue bin, cooking scraps in the green bin or out to the compost heap, cans and plastic in the blue bin.
Kristy, VP Global Marketing on Leveraging Technology
As head of the Green Team at Intelex I’ve been actively involved with internal environmental initiatives that have had an immediate impact. We have implemented a company-wide recycling program that also includes organic waste collection, we also created a roof top garden which has produced some great treats including delicious tomatoes and the Green Team is always looking for new ways to reduce our impact. These are just a few of the initiatives we have introduced.
Today however, I wanted to highlight some of the simple benefits of leveraging technology. Documentation sharing is a big part of everyday business. At Intelex, we store documents in our Document Control System, this provides everyone will a central location for information, increases efficiency and reduces paper-waste. For meetings we use all the technology available from web meetings to reduce the need for travel to things like using laptops and projectors to avoid printing anything. Everyone at Intelex uses two monitors to increase efficiency. And at home, I’ve been known to use three monitors! These are simple things, but I encourage everyone to consider trying something new. It can help make a difference.
Fenn, Web Developer on Natural Bug Repellent
I’m pretty involved in helping set up the Intelex Green Team Garden. We only use natural bug repellents. We plant marigolds to help with that and I also use lemongrass and eucalyptus as a natural bug repellent. It’s also great for the human immune system and is an anti-carcinogen.
Alison, Marketing Manager on Adopting a Plant-Based Diet
A “plant-based diet” means eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains, while reducing meat, dairy products and eggs. I’m a vegetarian, but you don’t have to give up meat completely in order to have a positive impact. Meat can play an important role in some people’s diets. But raising animals for food takes quite a toll on our planet, and these days many of us have far more meat in our diets than is necessary – or healthy, in some cases! Many studies show that plant-based diets can help us conserve our planet’s natural resources, from water to fossil fuels. In fact, for many years now the United Nations has been encouraging people to adopt plant-based diets in order to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
Mike, CTO on Managing Networks
A few of the things we do at Intelex to conserve energy and minimize our impact include creating network power management policies to ensure all equipment hibernates when unused, purchasing energy-efficient computers and servers and optimizing system performance to reduce our equipment footprint. Hosting in LEED-certified data centers is a way companies can reduce their impact as well. Something I recommend to everyone is recycling computer equipment by donating it to charities. This keeps harmful materials such as lead and mercury out of landfills.
Teck, Product Manager, Environmental Compliance on Food Waste
These are just a few things I do to make a difference: I like to walk. In the summer, I will walk 5 km to work and 5 km home. I always think before I throw away garbage – there are increasingly more things you can recycle or reuse. A big focus for me is Food Wastage. This is a serious issue. I make it a practice to always under order in a restaurant and order more if I need it. I try to be very conscious about not wasting food whether I am out or at home.
Jon, HR VP on How Companies can make a Difference
At Intelex, we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact and support our employees in helping make a difference. A few things we’ve adopted that I encourage other companies to consider, if they haven’t already, is supporting transportation alternatives such as secure bike rack facilities or carpooling subsidies. The availability of reusable dishes, glassware and cutlery helps reduce waste. Another consideration is implementing an internal policy to “print only when necessary” to reduce paper waste and when it’s absolutely required make it doubled sided.
Kyle, Sales Enabler on Home Energy Conservation
A bunch of things I do to make a difference center around my new house and energy conservation. I’ve made a list of just a few things we’ve done that I think other might benefit from:
• Switching out lights to LED lights. Sure, they are a bit more expensive than halogen, incandescent or CFL – but they pay for themselves in savings in the first year usually, so that reduces a TON of electricity. I’ve swapped out 16 lights so far.
• Swapping out regular light switches to dimmers. This can reduce energy use up to 30%
• Adding motion sensor lights outside and inside the house. This way lights don’t end up being left on
• Re-insulating our basement and floor joists to minimize heat loss.
• Using a programmable, learning thermostat to lower and raise temperatures automatically during the day and evenings.
• Replacing two old 1970’s toilets with new, low flow, dual flush ones
This summer we are planning on adding new venting and insulation to the attic to reduce heat loss AND we are getting a rain barrel to reduce the municipal water we consume!
Thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas. We hope these stories have planted some seeds that will germinate into some positive changes.
To close things off we wanted to tell you about one more cool thing we are doing at Intelex. Each team is getting a new green team member – literally. Intended to help keep the air clean and keep the space green these “green-mates” are sure to brighten things up. Keep an eye out on Twitter and Instagram to see more.
Wishing you a Happy Earth Day!