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Setting the Example

by Editorial Staff--South Jersey Biz
In honor of Earth Month this April, we asked our Green Awards recipients to share some insight with our readers about two things: what they were doing to celebrate Earth Month, and what others can do at this time of year to “green” their operations and begin the path toward sustainability. If a little advice or motivation is what you need, it may be easier than you ever imagined.

What They Did

Barry Draycott, Tech Terra Environmental
“Every month is Earth Month for us! This month, we are very excited to be a part of a new working group which will help bring New Jersey schools into compliance with existing School Integrated Pest Management regulations. This working group will act as an advisory group for the state and for Rutgers. Any training developed as a result of the working group’s efforts will fully support the New Jersey School IPM program goal of reducing student exposure to pesticides.”

Jon Perper, Playdrome
“Playdrome started a new recycling program during Earth Month. We are offering all Playdrome guests ‘Playdrome Rewards Dollars’ when they recycle their used or unwanted shoes.”

Jason Slade, Laurel Creek Country Club
“Inside the clubhouse, our executive chef, Raymond Carpenter, looks to use locally grown food whenever possible. This includes purchasing fruits and vegetables from a certified organic farm in Lumberton, and honey from a farm in Tabernacle. Springtime also means it’s time to plant the club’s own herb garden, which is used extensively in the preparation of meals we serve. How does this make us ‘green,’ you ask? Well, by supporting other green businesses, we can keep the green movement rolling, and by using locally grown foods, we are able to reduce the need for trucking these items from great distances.”

Peter Eschbach, American Water
“We don’t know what everyone is doing the other 11 months; we think of every month as Earth Month. Actually, we think of them all as Water Months, Weeks, Days, Hours, etc. They all sort of ‘flow’ together.”

What You Can Do

Peter Spirgel, Flaster/Greenberg
“I believe companies need to lead the effort toward conservation by example. Each conservation initiative creates momentum by making incremental changes that build on each other. At first, [Flaster/Greenberg] started small by increasing our recycling efforts and decreasing the amount of copies we made. Later, we began more sophisticated practices including setting the default settings on our copiers to print double-sided and installed light sensors that automatically turn off when an office becomes vacant. Most recently, we installed an electric car charging station in our Cherry Hill office in order to encourage our employees to drive electric or hybrid vehicles. Each of these efforts helps create a ‘greener’ culture within the organization and helps to promote more earth-friendly habits.”

Lori Braunstein, Sustainable Cherry Hill
“By integrating your green goals with the interests of your customers, you can build loyalty while reducing your costs. Keep the momentum going by engaging your employees and customers. Incentivize new ideas and encourage friendly competitions in the areas of waste and energy reduction. Learn more on Tuesday, May 1 when South Jersey business owners, staff and business leaders are invited to ‘Greening Your Bottom Line’ at Caffe Aldo Lamberti. For more information and registration, visit”

Mike Fischette, Concord Engineering
“First and foremost, do the things that save you the most and cost you the least. Energy efficiency can be as simple as replacing old lights with new CFL or even LEDs; you can often even get a rebate. Whenever you buy an energy-consuming device, even your heater, air conditioner, clothes washer or hot water heater, look at the energy cost over the next five years and consider if the savings justify buying a more efficient model. The Energy Star labels help, but check that the [dollars per kilowatt] they use are consistent with what you pay. If not, make a simple correction to see what the savings will be. We all use energy every day, and all day simple awareness, including energy use in the choices we make and actions we take, makes a difference.”

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 2, Issue 4 (April, 2012).
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