For many years Paragon has had a green initiative to reduce energy consumption. Here are ideas that other businesses might be able to use. You could also apply some of these at home.
Beginning in January of 2012, Paragon started to use an energy provider that produces a portion of its electricity on wind farms in Texas rather than only through the use of fossil fuels. What does this mean? The use of pollution-free 100% renewable energy is created from natural resources that will never run out and helps preserve our environment for future generations! Our energy provider estimates that by switching to them, Paragon will avoid the formation of 32,976 pounds of CO2 annually.
In 1997 we switched from oil-base spray paint to high temperature water-base paint to reduce emissions. The oil-base paint emitted strong toxic fumes; the water-base paint fumes are mild by comparison. This is better for our factory employees and the environment.
In 2008 Paragon upgraded the lighting in the factory to reduce energy consumption. The reduced pollution from the electricity we are saving is equivalent to planting 24 acres of trees annually.
Since 2002, we have shredded scrap paper and cardboard to make “spaghetti” packing for kiln furniture kits and UPS shipments. We haven't bought petroleum-based packing peanuts in years. The only peanuts we use are the ones that we recycle from shipments we receive from others. Every office employee has a paper recycling box where scrap paper is thrown. We process the paper into packing materials. Paragon office employees also write on the back of scrap paper such as letters and obsolete printed material.
Paragon has been on the four-day work week since the 70s. There is very little employee turnover here, because having Fridays off is like taking a holiday every week. And it doesn't take long to get used to 10-hour days. After a few weeks 10 hours seem like eight. The factory starts at 7:00 a.m. and leaves at 5:30 p.m. Because we arrive early and stay late, we avoid some of the heaviest traffic. To handle customer calls, we have two people in the office on Fridays. They go home at noon. For many businesses, the four-day work week is definitely viable. It is an easy way to save gasoline not only because you drive to work four times a week instead of five but also because you avoid traffic delays.
And, of course, if you would rather stay at home having fun rather than put money in your gas tank, fire a Paragon kiln. The typical electric kiln can fire a full load of ware for less than the cost of a gallon of gasoline.