While there many reasons to “go green” — like lowering your utility bills or planting a community garden to help the environment — the most important reason may be to keep the earth sustainable for future generations.
For Emily Borne and her “Green Committee,” these employees are proud of their efforts in protecting the environment and promoting environmentally-friendly habits. At Search Influence, a local digital marketing agency, the company’s “green initiative” has adopted ecologically-sound practices to reduce unnecessary waste and trim operating costs.
“Our biggest green initiative is the creation of our employee-led recycling program launched in the beginning of 2019,” said Borne, the Digital Copy Editor of Search Influence, located at 935 Gravier St., New Orleans.
“This was created by our ‘Green Committee’ and has been very successful since rolled out at the beginning of the year. Previously, our office didn’t have a designated recycling bin, and many recyclable items were thrown away. The Green Committee wanted to change that, so we decided to form a grassroots recycling initiative at no cost to our office. Once we contacted the New Orleans Recycling Drop Off Center on Elysian Fields and confirmed we could drop off items from our office, we put our plan into action.”
Founded in 2006, Search Influence helps local and national businesses explore online possibilities through search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing strategies. Their services include SEO, social media management, online advertising, content creation and consulting.
With the support of the staff, the green initiative of Search Influence was going strong, Borne indicated.
“We set up a rotating Saturday drop off schedule between Green Committee members, purchased a bin, and held a company-wide presentation about general recycling do’s and don’ts. Our initiative was met with such enthusiasm!
“Employees have been continuously filling our recycling bin (and multiple paper bags) to the brim. I love constantly seeing the amount of recycling we’re keeping out of landfills.”
A second “Green Committee” project involved the Arc of Greater New Orleans in which the employees collected Mardi Gras beads and throws to recycle.
“We have meetings every month to discuss improvements within the office we can make and new initiatives we can try to introduce during company presentations,” said Jenna Mire, Account Coordinator for Search Influence and member of the ‘Green Committee.’
“For example, like many offices, we have a Keurig in our kitchen. It is great for making individual cups, but K cups are notoriously bad for the environment. The green committee introduced a ‘Recycle A Cup K-Cup Pod’ tool that allows you to separate the pod components and recycle the plastic pod so we can drink our individual coffee cups without the guilt!”
According to Borne, Search Influence as a company has benefitted from “going green” because it has improved the overall efficiency of the business.
“With so much waste produced daily and the very real effects of climate change, it’s difficult to stand by and do nothing. The first thought may be, ‘So, we’re recycling a few things here and there, but is that really helping?’ but I believe every effort to go green is crucial, from decreasing the use of plastic products to riding a bike/using public transportation when possible to using more environmentally-friendly cleaners—no matter how small it may feel,” said Borne.
“I believe my employees and I recognize the importance of bringing more green into all aspects of our lives, especially since we live in a city that is vulnerable to extreme weather such as hurricanes and flooding. We want to continue to call New Orleans home for years to come. The more we can recycle and reuse, the fewer emissions we can emit and the more energy we can save. We are also keeping things out of landfills that don’t belong there!”
With the collaborative effort of the employees, Borne along with Mire and the “Green Committee” plans to spread awareness and reach out to the community.
“I believe we’ll continue to build on our ‘go green’ office culture with continued education,” stated Borne. “My goal for the Green Committee is to extend resources to co-workers about not only being green at the office but also at home. Future projects will hopefully highlight environmental non-profits throughout the city, and maybe even dip into volunteer opportunities.”
The Recycling Drop-Off Center, which is located at 2829 Elysian Fields Ave., New Orleans, has public drop off available every second and fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Celeste Turner is a fitness guru who writes news about East Jefferson and around the New Orleans metro area. Please send any health and fitness news, special events or East Jefferson news items to [email protected].