Archive for August 7th, 2008

This arrived in the inbox today:

Welcome to the (green) club.

You are now officially a GreenSpot-joining the ranks of households, businesses, and community groups across Columbus who have gone green.”

What’s the GreenSpot? It’s Columbus Ohio’s new designation for Green businesses, homes, and localities. To become a GreenSpot we had to pledge to stay committed to the environment. Our specific pledges are listed below.

If you live or own a business in Columbus, please consider becoming a GreenSpot too! Visit http://www.columbusgreenspot.org

My GreenSpot Pledge

Here’s how we will inform and engage

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • By January 15 of each year, we will record and submit the green initiatives we’ve begun or continued as a result of being part of GreenSpot.
  • We will create and display an environmental policy or mission statement.
  • We will measure our compliance with local, federal, health, safety, and environmental regulations.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will display our GreenSpot decal in a window or some other prominent place.
  • We will keep employees informed about our green efforts by including updates in newsletters and bulletins.
  • We will openly encourage employees to be responsible environmental stewards in their personal lives.
  • We will set aside time at each staff meeting to talk about our green efforts.
  • We will support an environmental nonprofit organization through financial contributions, in-kind services, volunteer work, or board service.
  • We will track and post utility bills in a common employee space.

Here’s how we will reduce, reuse, and recycle

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • We will buy supplies made with recycled materials.
  • We will establish a business-wide recycling program that includes-at a minimum-glass, aluminum, plastic bottles, steel, and paper.
  • We will perform a waste audit of our business.
  • We will track our monthly waste.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will buy local food whenever possible.
  • We will buy products in returnable, reusable, or recyclable containers.
  • We will communicate electronically-instead of on paper-whenever possible.
  • We will dispose of all organic food waste through composting.
  • We will donate unwanted furniture, supplies, scrap materials, linens, phones, etc.
  • We will email or post staff memos and schedules in a central place instead of printing copies for each employee.
  • We will encourage servers to use scrap office paper for order-taking.
  • We will expand our recycling program to include additional materials, such as plastic film, refrigerants, re-use of water, hangers, etc. Additional materials we will include in our recycling program are…
  • We will not use Styrofoam or other non-recyclable plastic food service containers.
  • We will provide employees and guests reusable dishware and coffee mugs instead of disposable ones.
  • We will sell products made of recycled content and/or organic materials.
  • We will use organic and non-toxic cleaning supplies.
  • When creating mailings, we will design them so they don’t require an envelope.

Here’s how we will conserve & protect water

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • If applicable, we will fully comply with the City’s Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan requirements.
  • We will check for leaks by performing a water audit (if we have more than 100 employees) or by closely reviewing our water bills (if we have fewer than 100 employees).
  • We will fully comply with the City’s Fats, Oils, and Grease Regulation.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will keep receiving areas and dumpsters clear of litter by periodically sweeping the area, and ensuring each waste receptacle has a tight-fitting lid.
  • We will not hose off or wash cars, equipment, floor mats, or other items where runoff water flows into the storm drain.
  • We will provide an outdoor receptacle for cigarette butt disposal.
  • We will replace toilets that use 3 or more gallons of water per flush with ones that use 1.6 gallons or less.
  • We will run our dishwashers only when they are full, and post a sign to remind employees to abide by this commitment.


Our business is responsible for the landscaping. We will do three of the following:

  • As new plants are needed, we will use native, drought-resistant plants.
  • We will install a cistern or rain barrel to catch rainwater, and use it to water landscaped areas
  • We will redirect downspouts towards landscaped areas where possible.
  • We will water only when needed.

Here’s how we will conserve energy

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • We will perform an energy audit, or use EnergyStar’s Portfolio to track our energy use.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will apply window film to reduce solar heat gain, or shade sun-exposed windows and walls during the warm season by using awnings, sunscreens, shade trees, or shrubbery.
  • We will convert to energy-efficient light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and/or upgrade existing fluorescent tube lighting with T-8 or T-5 lamps with electronic ballasts. We will begin with five light fixtures-or 10% of our lights (whichever is greater)-and commit to changing the rest in the next two years.
  • We will implement a facility-wide policy of turning off equipment and lights when not in use.
  • We will install programmable thermostats, setting them to 68 degrees in winter, 78 degrees in summer, and 55 degrees at night.
  • We will perform regular maintenance on our HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and refrigeration systems-or ask our landlord to do so.
  • We will replace all exit signs with LED or high-efficiency alternatives.
  • We will use caulk and/or weather-stripping around windows and doors, keeping caulk in good repair.
  • When replacing equipment and appliances, we will ensure they are EnergyStar rated and/or equipped with energy-saving features.

Here’s how we will travel green

Mandatory Commitments
Within the next year:

  • If applicable, we will make our fleet more efficient.We do not have a fleet of 10 or more vehicles, and transportation is not a major part of our business.We have a fleet of 10 or more vehicles, or transportation is a major part of our business. We will achieve at least a one-star rating with the Ohio Green Fleet Program.
  • We will encourage all employees to participate in “Two by 2012”-a commitment to commute to work twice a month using an alternative form of transportation (not a single-occupancy vehicle).
  • We will install a bike rack in our facility, or provide employees with another secure location to store bikes.

Additional Commitments:
Within the next year:

  • We will encourage employees to walk or bike to meetings, lunch, etc.
  • We will provide green driving tips on an employee bulletin board or in newsletters.
  • We will provide bikes for employees to use during the day.
  • We will provide employees with COTA Commuter Checks
  • We will provide employees with information about ridesharing and bus transportation on a bulletin board and/or in newsletters.

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