Greening Up Eternity’s Mission Control
Vermont is well known for being one of the most environmentally friendly states to live in within the US. Many Vermont small businesses choose to adopt this green culture into their businesses practices, and Eternity is one among these such businesses. Eternity has had several environmentally-friendly practices in place: an office space that utilizes a lot of natural light, a plastic-eliminating water system, a low-flow flushing toilet in our restroom, and a minimalism-meets-industrial décor style that translates to office furnishings that didn’t require as much material to create as typical office furnishings, just to name a few. In other words, dissimilar to what you’ve seen on TV in the Oval Office or in swanky lawyers’ offices, our desks are not made from huge pieces of dead trees (you’re welcome, Mother Nature).
While a few of our desks are made from local pine by one of our employees, Rob Liberty, they are just surface-style desks without any sides or wooden drawers, and the desk legs are made from metal piping—industrially cool and minimal material. They are built to outlast us.
Look Ma, No Printer!
Eternity hasn’t had a printer in our office since 2010—a substantive difference from most other office environments. Even before we ditched our printer however, we’ve been paperless, sending client proposals and invoices digitally since 2007. Furthermore, all of our office bills that can be paperless, have been from the get-go. In short: we don’t mess around with dead trees.
Hiring with Sustainability in Mind
With the addition of a bonafide tree-hugging, reusable straw-using hippie to the staff roster (Jacqui Phaneuf) here at Mission Control, we’re getting a veritable facelift regarding waste, energy, and materials usage. Among the changes on the list for the office include the addition of a recycling bin for the office, buying the office some silverware, plates, and reusable to-go coffee mugs and containers so that staff members that bring lunch from home or buy lunch out can ditch plastic utensils, to-go boxes from restaurants, and disposable coffee cups from nearby coffee shops in favor of reusable models.
We’ll also come into the habit of totally powering down everything plugged into the walls in the office at the end of the day except for what’s absolutely necessary, and unplugging anything that isn’t used throughout the business day that has a lit-up display, therefore nixing our vampire power almost completely. What is vampire power, you say? Why, it is the standby power that is consumed by electronic and electrical appliances that are designed to draw some power while they are switched off or in a standby mode.
Every Little Bit Helps...
In the grand scheme of business-related environmental waste, we are already very environmentally conscious. Our business success does not rely on putting out physical materials, nor does it require raw materials each time we put out our product and complete a project for our clients. Our office supplies are largely one-time purchases (computer monitors, telephones, keyboards, and the like), and require nearly no maintenance on a yearly basis. Though the actual running of the business is an environmentally inexpensive model, our staff’s daily habits have room for improvement. While one person not showing up to work every day with a Styrofoam cup in hand isn’t going to solve the world’s problems with human-exacerbated climate change, we at Eternity believe that it is absolutely worth it to make an effort on the matter.
Really, we are hoping to help our staff change the way they look at the single-use materials they use every day, as well as what their individual lifestyles translates to from Mother Nature’s perspective. We will also be talking about introducing the staff to different carbon footprint-minimizing programs, tests, and activities to help them green up their lives outside of the office.
We believe that now more than ever, we need to hone in on our individual consumption habits. Tropical storms occur more frequently and more intensely with each coming year, devastating cities across the world with more tenacity each time they happen. Droughts have become so severe that people no longer have access to clean water, such as what happened earlier this year in Cape Town, South Africa. Floods become worse with each passing year in other areas of the world, washing away people’s homes, livelihoods, and loved ones.
We are determined to make our red logo’d business a little more green- and maybe save some green, too!