Are These Really Groundbreaking Ideas? Green Business Flaws That Should Be Fixed By Now

Every day I come across business practices that are so pointlessly wasteful it just boggles my mind. And I am quite sure that I can’t be the only person who has noticed these things, realizing there must be a better way.

Here are a few so-ridiculously-simple-I-can’t-believe-this-hasn’t-been-done green business ideas I would love to see implemented in the next five years. Or, ideally, in the next five minutes.

  • Recycling Bins in ATM Vestibules: People are inevitably going to push “yes” for receipts and then immediately toss them. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a recycling bin for all that paper? Oh, and Starbucks, I’ve had my eye on your lack of front-of-house recycling too.
  • Eliminate Paper Covers for Doctors’ Tables: Every time we go to the doctor and jump up on the table, we are provided a fresh sheet of thin, crinkly paper to supposedly shield us from the germs of the prior patient. The problem is this paper only covers about 2/3 of the width of the table and folds/moves/rips to pieces the moment you touch it. Why don’t nurses just wipe down the table with antibacterial gel instead of wasting all that paper? It seems it would be more sanitary, more economical, and certainly more environmentally friendly.
  • Excessive Mail from Doctors: Speaking of doctor’s offices, I am constantly mailed forms to remind me of doctor’s appointments and even to show me an example of the forms I will be asked to fill out at my upcoming appointment. Many of these notices are accompanied by phone calls, so I wonder why bother with the redundancy of all this extra mail. Not only are they wasting paper, they are wasting stamps and manpower. And with all the modern technology of MRIs, Cat Scans, and Laparoscopic Surgery, I have never once been asked if I’d like to receive any of this information via e-mail.
  • American Apparel’s Organic Selection: I love American Apparel – simple, made-in-the-U.S.A. basics with some attempt to incorporate organic cotton options. However, every time I check the racks, the only colors available in the organic option are neon yellow and scorching chartreuse. It’s not that the normal colors are sold out — it’s that for some reason the brand tends to only stock the most bizarre shades of organic cotton in its stores. Seriously, try to find an organic cotton tank top in black, white, or even turquoise and let me know how it goes. Maybe it’s just my local flagship stores.

I’m sure I’ll think of many more of these. Please share your own frustrations and solutions for business leaders who should really know better!

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