It just got easier to bike to work!

Want to bike to work. but worried about the safety of your bike? Well, today the Liberty Village Business Association released their new Bike Here! program which launches twelve new bicycle racks, and three clusters of secure storage lockers, to make Softchoice’s neighbourhood friendlier to cyclists.

The twelve new bicycle racks are far from the ones you are used to, they are artist designed pieces, reflecting the creative spirit of the community. The designs were submitted late last year to the Bike Here! Committee, and those designs are featured on the central panels of the new racks.

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Volunteer Days: Corporate Marketing flexes their non-creative muscles

Softchoice’s Corporate Marketing team is known for such things as organizing great events, coordinating sales training programs and designing spectacular campaigns…but little did you know about the team’s ability to move a whole lotta heavy stuff!

Last Friday, October 14th the entire team took one of our volunteer days off together and spent it at a Habitat for Humanity build in the east end of Toronto. After consuming a large amount of coffee to ease the early morning chilly start, we were suited up in hard hats and steel-toe boots and put to work.

With dreams of being assigned the “cool” tasks such as  framing, drilling or sawing we soon realized our task may not be as glamorous as we had hoped. With our Habitat Team Leader’s message of “every job is important” as our inspiration, we set off on our job for the day – moving a LOT of stuff. A huge area needed to be cleared of supplies to make room for digging the foundation of the next house. Piles and piles of wood, scaffolding, pipes and metal had to be moved from one end of the site to another. Others may have been disheartened by the somewhat boring task, but not us! Before we knew it an assembly line was formed, songs were being sung, nicknames were being allocated and everyone was laughing and having a great time. The best part – we totally impressed the Team Leader by finishing in record-time and having the best stacked piles of wood he’s ever seen. We actually may have created a new Six Sigma process for wood moving and stacking!

We ended off the day by signing our names on the frame and then heading out to share some cold beverages together. Overall, it was an incredible day of team-building (even though we didn’t get to participate in any “real” building) and most importantly – we did our part to help 8 families in our community have a new home to call their own.

 

Sometimes we all need a little reminder

I was leaving the Softchoice gym today when I noticed the new signs near all of the light switches that were put up by the Green Team. Some may think a sign is not necessary (and maybe even a waste of paper), but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve walked into the gym to lights, TVs and the stereo running without anyone being in there.

At home, since I pay my own power bills, I find myself so much more committed to turning things off. I never leave the TV on when I’m not watching it. Before I leave the house, I do a last sweep to turn off all the lights. Sometimes even when I’m cooking, I’ll even turn off the stove before the dish is done cooking since I know that they’ll still be some heat as it slowly cools down.

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Just say “no” to paper invoices.

Sometimes making a change is as easy as saying “no”. Last week I received this email from one of our suppliers:

Greetings,
 
Please find attached the July 2011 Invoices. A hard copy will be arriving in the mail shortly.
 
Thank you,

My usual process when I get an invoice via email is to forward the PDF  to my finance team and they take care of it. And with the number of emails I get every day, it’s easy to just gloss over what’s written in the email and just follow my standard process. But when I read that they were also sending a hard copy in the mail, I had to stop and ask myself “why?” I don’t need a hard copy sent to me, since it’s WAY easier for me to email the PDF to my finance team rather than walk 4 floors down to give it to them in person. Also, I’ve already been given a copy of it, so if I really needed a hard copy, I could just print it out myself.

So I emailed back my supplier and told her that we don’t require hard copies of any of our invoices, and asked if she could make a note in our file to not have hard copies automatically sent out. She replied “No problem”.

I wonder how many organizations are just in the habit of sending out hard copies of invoices? How much are they un-neccesarily spending on print, labour and mail costs? How many of their customers really require them?

Also, how many people routinely get paper invoices that they don’t need and would rather recieve in PDF form? Do you take the time to tell your supplier and request a change? It took me just seconds to send the email to request it and will save 12 sheets of paper, 12 envelopes and 12 stamps a year.  Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but multiply that by all of you reading this post and there could be some serious savings.

Going green is about making a lot of these little changes in life. Many of them take seconds and are quite painless. So the next time you get a paper invoice that you don’t need, take the time to say “no”.

The 3-second secret to being a green hero

In my 4 years of experience as sustainability manager at Softchoice, I’ve met hundreds of people who are really passionate about energy efficiency. And I mean really, really passionate.

But you know what? I’ve realized you don’t need to be a hyper active green-thumb to help out with this important movement. It doesn’t matter what your day job is — from IT workers to salespeople to finance gurus — you can make a big difference with a very small, very simple, first step.

This “first step” is easy, it won’t cost you a dime and it only takes three seconds — but it’s very important nonetheless.

Can you guess what it is? [Read more…]

Dallas does it right

Our Dallas office recycles everything from glass and paper to batteries and toner, all done through a local recycling company. This company also offers e-waste recycling to Softchoice employees. In this specific Softchoice location, the property management does not provide any recycling program – so we have gone out and sourced our own! Here is a snapshot of the positive impact this program has had on the environment… [Read more…]