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It is Pollution Prevention Week
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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Pollution Prevention Week, Sept. 17-23, is recognized throughout Georgia and the United States. It serves as a reminder that we all — private citizens, businesses and government — can find ways to reduce the amount of energy being used to conserve natural resources, and reduce the amount of toxins and waste going into landfills.
Today, I am sharing some tips from an excellent resource provided online by the Pollution Prevention Assistance Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Attention businesses and industries. This is an opportunity for your company to reduce its impact on the environment and PPAD is here to help by introducing the sustainable office toolkit. This free online tool will help your company develop a sustainability program — reducing your environmental footprint while improving your bottom line.
Here are some tips from the sustainable office toolkit to get you started.
• Reduce waste: An average 100-employee office spends more than $5,000 a year buying copy paper and more than $200 throwing it away. Save money and trees by using electronic communication as much as possible. And when you must print, use both sides and always recycle your paper.
• Buy green: Look for products that save money and the environment while meeting your needs. Easy wins include refilled toner cartridges (using 100 per year will save $2,000), tire re-treading (save more than $1,200 when compared to new tires for a 10 small-truck fleet), and energy-efficient products (newer, energy-efficient equipment often save enough in operating costs to recover the initial costs for purchase).
• Save energy: Turning off equipment during non-business hours not only saves the electricity needed to run it, but also the air conditioning needed to cool it — a double impact. Running just one computer and monitor nine hours a day instead of 24 can save more than $40 per year.
• Conserve water: Install .5 gallon per minute aerators on your faucets to reduce the amount of water used by 77 percent when compared to traditional 2.2 gallon per minute faucets. An office building installing low-flow aerators on 30 existing faucets can save $1,200 every year on water with only a $300, one-time installation cost.
n Commute clean: Telecommuting prevents pollution by allowing employees to work remotely just as they would in the office without using any transportation. It can also reduce energy costs in the office itself. Teleworking just one day a week can save the employee as much as $750 and 72 hours a year while increasing productivity at work by 10-20 percent.
• Build green: Consider green building rating systems before renovation or construction. Green buildings not only benefit the environment but also have lower utility costs. They have been shown to cost $50-$70 less per square foot compared to conventional buildings during a 20-year period.
• Be socially responsible: Adding a social responsibility strategy to your company’s corporate plan can improve your image and relations. According to a recent study, this commitment to leadership in the community and environment led 72 percent of companies to outperform others that are not integrating social responsibility into their business strategies.
Since 1993, PPAD has provided free, non-regulatory and confidential technical assistance in the areas of pollution prevention, resource conservation, waste reduction, by-product reuse and recycling. In 2004, the PPAD Partnership Program was established to encourage environmental leadership and recognize superior environmental performance.
The technical assistance provided by the Partnership Program is free and open to any business, organization, or government entity in Georgia. This assistance is certainly underutilized in South Georgia, so I hope you will consider using their resources.
For more information on the free and confidential environmental assistance provided by PPAD, the Partnership Program or to access the sustainable office toolkit, visit www.P2AD.org

Important dates to remember:
• Oct. 13 (10 a.m.) Recycled Scarecrows Contest at the Community Fall Festival at the YMCA
• Oct. 20 (8:45 a.m.) Rivers Alive cleanups several locations in Liberty County. On-foot volunteers, kayakers and small boats are needed.
To volunteer for the cleanups or for more information about Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact me at 368-4888 or klcb@libertycountyga.com
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