The Small Business Guide to Sustainability Certifications

The Small Business Guide to Sustainability Certifications
By Carlyann Edwards,

Today, companies face pressure to expand their corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. SolarCity’s sustainability briefing found that 75 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if the company is making an effort to be sustainable, while 82 percent are more likely to purchase a product that represents CSR over one that does not.

How can businesses effectively market their environmental responsibility while avoiding the pitfalls of greenwashing?

Many companies have turned to accredited CSR certifications and awards. Sustainability certifications are voluntary norms and standards relating to environmental, social, ethical and food safety issues.

“These certifications help consumers and stakeholders understand that the company has gone through a third-party verification process to make sure the company is actually walking the walk regarding sustainability,” Josh Prigge CEO of Sustridge said.

With sustainability reporting on the rise and a lot at stake for companies, there are several certifications businesses can choose from. Choosing the best one can be difficult, but here are some of the more popular ones to make your decision a bit easier.
B Corp

B Lab certification requires companies to pass an online assessment for “social and environmental performance,” integrate B Lab commitments into company governing documents, and pay an annual fee ranging from $50 to $50,000. “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk,” its website reads. Today, there are more than 2,564 Certified B corporations from 50 countries and more than 130 industries.

“We chose this certification because we feel it is the ‘gold standard’ for sustainable business,” CEO of Vert Asset Management Samuel Adams said. “For small businesses like ours, it is not hard or costly to get.”
LEED

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an ecology-oriented building certification program run by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is currently the most widely used green building rating system in the world, available for virtually all buildings. According to the company’s website, LEED buildings attract more tenants, cost less to operate, and boost employee productivity and retention. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several categories, including energy use and air quality. Depending on the number of points achieved, a project will either earn a Silver, Gold or Platinum rating.
TRUE

The TRUE Zero Waste certification system recognizes those businesses that are working toward achieving zero waste, cutting their carbon footprint and supporting public health. Administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), certification is available for any facility and its operations.

To be certified, companies (or projects) must have a zero waste policy in place, and they must have achieved an average of 90 percent or higher in diverting non-hazardous waste from landfills, incineration and the environment for the past year. A detailed list of requirements can be found here. Businesses pay a fee between $1,200 and $1,500 and a certification fee based on the square footage of your facility.
SITES

Developed through a collaborative effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden, SITES (used by architects, landscapers, ecologists, etc.) provides performance measures rather than prescribing practices, supporting the unique environmental conditions of each landscape it certifies.

SITE-certified landscapes consume less water, filter and reduce stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, and improve air quality. The combined registration and certification introductory fee ranges from $8,000 to $9,500.

“My decision to earn a SITES credential reflects not only my commitment to the highest environmental standards but my commitment to provide consumers and the green building industry with the same shortcut for understanding the impact of landscapes that LEED provides for indoor environments,” said Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping.
GBB

The Green Business Bureau’s (GBB) certification process is entirely initiative-based, so your company will receive points for each activity it completes. GBB’s sustainability assessment identifies and communicates sustainability efforts that your small business has already completed, while also helping to guide and formulate future efforts. GBB certification differentiates itself from other organizations by making it easy for small businesses to customize their sustainability practices.

Member companies choose and prioritize different green initiatives. After completing each initiative, companies are encouraged to promote their accomplishments and continue their progress by focusing on new initiatives. GBB specifically targets small and medium-sized businesses. The cost of the program is dependent on the size of your business, with annual costs ranging from $375 to $875.
Choosing a certification

If these five certifications don’t provide exactly what you’re looking for, don’t fret. There are thousands of sustainability awards available. Victoria Kate Burrows, project manager of Advancing Net Zero for the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) said the organization doesn’t prefer any one certification due to a multitude of varying local conditions.

The WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment challenges businesses around the world to set ambitious targets to eliminate operational carbon emissions from their facilities. Because of the complexity involved with metrics and various certifications, the WorldGBC has developed a few core principles to increase recognition among the various certification organizations.

“Even if you’re developing a very specific tool to your market, you need to ensure that … key principles are met and that helps achieve alignment and commonality across a huge universe of certification schemes that are out there,” Burrows said.

The same approach can be taken when choosing which sustainability certification makes the most sense for your business. Identify what certifications and measurements your competitors are using, find out what your customers prioritize, and look for a suitable certification.

Certification is an investment. David Veca, a family manager at Veckridge Chemical, stated, “The certificates that are worth paying for are ones that align with your business’s values, and, importantly, your target customer’s values,” he said.

The Essential Laws of Health Explained

Tips on Improving Your Appearance

It is true that everybody wants to look presentable not only inside but also outside but this may sound false for those who weren’t as attractive as the others. You must realize that despite of this reality, it doesn’t stop you from doing something that will result to having a great appearance in the first place. Here are some tips about the lifestyle changes that you might need to do in order to make sure that you will have a number of self development that will not only make you more attractive but confident as well.

1. Get Rid of Smoking and Try E Liquid Instead

For many years, many warnings about the effects of smoking has been designated so everyone must know however people haven’t discovered the effectivity of E Liquids yet and right now more and more people are switching to E liquid to kick out the habit of smoking. The E liquid is not only popular because it’s new but it s considered as an alternative to nicotine therapy. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients, it will minimize the withdrawal symptoms that you will experience.

2. Never Allow Yourself to be Dehydrated

You can easily notice if a person is not drinking plenty of water or other healthy fluids since their skin is some sort of dry and gets irritated easily. The simple recommendation to stay hydrated most of the time is to drink at least six glasses of water or some alternatives daily.

3. Make Sure to Have Well

If you haven’t sleep well, you will notice some dark circles around your eyes right after looking in the mirror after waking up. The suggested amount of sleep at night is at least six hours for adults so try getting this amount of sleep as often as possible.

4. Have Enough Exercise to Stay Fit

You must be aware that exercising will not only make you strong and healthy, it can also add to your confidence since you are very much comfortable with your weight. If you are too stressed out, try to exercise to remove the toxins that makes your body feel worse.

Aside from these options, you can do additional things to stay healthy and that is to improve your posture, increasing your protein intake, and eating a balanced diet everyday. To add more attractiveness, be yourself all the time since your beauty shines within you all the time. Also, don’t forget to add some E liquid if you think that it defines you.

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Advantages Of Using E-Liquid As Compared To Regular Cigarettes

It is hard for one to stop smoking and the process could take long before you are fully clean. However, there are alternative methods that could help you get better with time like vaping. Instead of one just reading through articles about the dangers of smoking, one should try and be equipped with reasons as to why they should switch to electronic cigarettes and how they are different.

If you are a chain smoker; one can use two packets in a day which is expensive thus switching to vaping would be a better deal since the ingredients used in e-cigarettes last longer than normal cigarettes. The liquid comes in different flavors so you can choose what you love and you do not have to struggle with getting rid of the smell unlike when smoking tobacco. There are few restrictions when it comes to vaping unlike conventional cigarettes that require one to go to a smoking zone so that they do not affect the people around them.

Cigarettes are addictive since they contain high levels of nicotine and people just get used to the entire habit of smoking which puts them in a comfort zone, but in e-cigarettes, the nicotine amount is regulated so it is hard to get addicted. Cigarettes can cause fire breakages, therefore, one should at least make sure they dispose the cigarette butts accordingly, but when using e-cigarettes there is no need to worry since you cannot start fires no matter what. No one loves seeing ashtrays lying in their houses and by using e-cigarettes that are something you can solve since once the e-liquid is heated, one can smoke as there is no waste from the device.

E-liquid gas some of the best smells, thanks to the variety of flavors available so you do not have to worry when you are out with friends since you can vape without making them uncomfortable. E-cigarettes are not safe but they are a better evil as compared to traditional cigarettes since even though you were to get addicted, it would be from the habit of smoking but not the contents. Few people know where the e-juice is made from before the distribution starts which makes some people term it as unhealthy but no one has had serious side effects in the past.

The creators of e-cigarettes understand that smoking is a process that takes time and since they know one cannot stop instantly, they introduce these products to help in reducing your craving levels. When one smokes too many traditional cigarettes they are at a risk of getting cancer since it has a lot of chemicals. You are in control of what you inhale since you have an option of choosing the amount of nicotine you need in the cigarettes.

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Accessories That Can Show-Off Your Lifestyle

In many ways, what we wear and how we carry ourselves can always say something about not just our personality in general but the type of lifestyle we live as well, and although only some people are keen enough to notice such details from people they see and meet everyday, paying attention to the things we wear can go a long way especially when you are trying to impress someone. Aside from your designer shoes and branded clothes, trendy hairstyle and luxurious perfume, your choice of accessories that you use everyday whether for practical necessity or just for your own style will also say a lot about your lifestyle, whether you are living a simple one or a lavish one.

With the continuous rise of expensive brands in the last few years in terms of worldwide popularity, people today are more keen when it comes to spotting luxury from a mile away just by seeing logos and even particular styles. Useful accessories like bags, wallets, and belts, which we use everyday, can be a little peek for others to clue them in about your lifestyle, so wearing one with a brand that either stands out or subtly hint on luxury are a good way to show your lifestyle and taste.

Accessories worn in some seasons only such as scarves, sunglasses, and hats, are also quite useful if you want to add flair to your ensemble and subtly brag at the same time by alternating between a couple of trendy styles every day or every week whenever you feel like it. For people who smoke, vaporizers have also become a trendy accessory as they now come in many styles and designs for everyone, even for people with an exquisite taste who have an eye for luxury, which can also come with artisan or custom e-liquid flavors.

Living in our modern era today, technology and gadgets have become something we all would probably be not able to imagine living without, and for the affluent population, high-end mobile phones and laptops have also become a need whether they are working or spending their time leisurely. For fitness enthusiasts who love luxury too, the use of a fitness watch have also become really popular not just for the status symbol it often carries with it, but also for its convenient usefulness when it comes to tracking daily progress and changes in one’s health and fitness and journey.

To top it all off, use your favorite jewelry pieces, as classic diamonds and gold jewelry still remains to be a tool of luxury that can subtly accentuate your look as long as you do not wear too much and remember to put in mind the occasion you are wearing them for.

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Better Habits to Substitute Cigarette Smoking

Vaping: Electronic cigarettes function similarly to standard ones; vapers can contain the vape in their palm, suck in then exhale just like smoking, but without all the risks associated with real cigarettes. For those who have recently quit smoking, they can start with the highest concentration of nicotine since the ejuice for vapes can be got in varying concentrations of nicotine; this will allow the smokers to not note the change. You could gradually reduce the amount of nicotine that is inside your e-liquid, to wean your body from the med over time and help to make it easier to stop being reliant on it as you get more used to vaping.

Consume healthy Snacks: Eating food is not really an uncommon substitute to cigarettes when quitting smoking, as a matter of fact, many ex-smokers find that they consume more than they should and thus sometimes gain pounds after quitting. However, if you are certain of having a good flow of healthy snacks readily available, you’ll be able to replace smoking with snacking, without having to worry about adding extra unwanted pounds.

Consuming water: Drinking water can help to re-hydrate your skin layer and return its wholesome, youthful glow and clean up oral plaque buildup and germs from your the teeth and restore their sparkling white-colored condition. Consuming water help to distract you from the pangs of hunger throughout the day thus you won’t gain weight and can likewise give you a mouth something to do to distract a person from smoking desires.

Chew Gum: Chewing gum can be an excellent way to avoid cigarette cravings since it keeps your mouth busy.

Showering: A warm bath will help you to be able to relax and unwind, which is advisable if you are craving a cigarette, because you are feeling stressed out.
Exercise: If you want to distract yourself from your cravings, try taking up exercise more frequently. If you can, typically the best idea is to join an indoor gym, since it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be in a position to smoke inside; therefore you probably won’t even consider cigarettes during your exercise routine.

Listen to Music: Listening to comforting music could be a good alternative to try out if you usually desire a cig when you are stressed or restless.

Meditation: It is more appealing to take good care of yourself once you meditate and become more at one with yourself and the planet around you. As a result, you will not intentionally perform things you know have a sizable potential to hurt you and others around you, such as smoking.

Start up a new Leisure activity: Starting a fresh leisure activity could take a lot of time and energy, especially when you propose to learn something new which you have never tried before. This hobby can be a good distraction from your cigarette cravings.

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The Safety Of Eliquid And Whether It Is Effective In Replacing The Habit Of Smoking Ciggaretes

The increase in the number of electronic cigarettes among the members of the general public has caused different debates among the experts where they seek to determine whether the habit is safe or can be considered hazardous. However in the recent times the attention has turned to the nicotine-laden fluid used a flavor where the focus is on the effectiveness of the fluid. There are groups that contend that the e-liquid is more harmful than the cigarettes implying that it has more hazardous effect on human body than smoking the cigarettes. The other group however dispute that the e-liquid is hazardous since there are no documented effects that have been established thus deeming it safe as air.

While each group may hold their argument to be correct there is need to establish the truth about the e-liquid flavors by scrutinizing the components used and also considering each group’s argument. There is no product that a human being uses can be termed to be 100 percent safe for use not even the purified clean drinking water as it can also cause death due to the fact that it causes hyponatremia disease. When determining what product to use one therefore needs to determine the level of safety of using the product and also the relative harm of using the product when compared to other related products. The use of eliquids is not an exclusion as it cannot be proved to be 100 percent safe but can be compared with cigarettes as many people are replacing the use of cigarettes with the eliquids. Since the body was designed to inhale oxygen, any other product when inhaled will have an effect on the normal functioning of the body. The safety levels of using any product depends on the components used during the manufacture, but not many people are aware of the components of the e-liquid.

During the manufacture of the eliquids the primary component is usually nicotine which is usually highly addictive and at times dangerous when used in excess. Nicotine can create vasoconstriction which causes tingling sensations, headaches and blood circulation problems such as high blood pressure. However nicotine can help fight depression, improve concentration and is recommended for patients who suffer from different brain disorders such as ADHD. Glycol compounds are also used in making the eliquids where the two main compounds are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin where they are used to create smoke illusion. Different e-liquid brands have different flavors added. Some e-liquid brands also contain added ingredients such as distilled water which is added to make it wick and vodka or pure grain alcohol to improve throat hit.

The Ultimate Guide to Options

How to Convince Your Teens to Quit Smoking

As a parent, you want to be sure that your kids are truly healthy. But, you will be shocked after knowing that they puff cigarettes. There is no need of you to question how come cigarettes have 3,000 deadly chemicals as people in the field of science know a lot about it. If your teens are addicted to cigars and they can consume more than one pack a day, it is possible for them to have their lives reduced. You need to convince them to quit smoking and there are some tips that you need to follow. If your teen is addicted to cigarettes, it is normal for him not to listen to you when you resist.

The first thing that you should know is vaping and you get to inform them about it. If you let them use electronic cigarette, they will be truly happy because they feel that it is like a stick of cigarette and you have to provide e-juice. If you want your kid to stop smoking gradually, this is the best device. If there is one important thing that you need to add on an electronic cigarette, it should be the e-juice. When talking about e-juice, you have to know that it is certainly has its degree of concentration. Hence, you need to know from the seller which one is mild and which one is strong. You should get the strong one if you think that the addiction of your teen is on the highest level. The e-juice has to undergo a process to become a gas to be inhaled by your teen. Your teen will never suffer from respiratory complications knowing the fact that he does not inhale real nicotine. It makes sense for you to conduct refilling of container this time and you need to pour the right amount of e-juice inside.

It is also important for you to serve them healthy snacks. Hence, do not ask them to buy chips and sweets that will never be make them healthy. If you decide to serve healthy snacks, they will never be susceptible to diseases. If you want to help them, you may ask them to do physical exercises or even indulge in sports. If you want them to play games, you have to let them become active for indoor and outdoor games so they will not become bored.

You need to ask your teen to take shower if he feels bad about his body functioning. Chewing gum may also be the best alternative once he has not availed electronic cigarette yet. If your kids will forget their bad habits, they will live a healthy life and they will never easily get sick. It is possible for your kids to enjoy long life once they have good habits. Nothing wrong will ever happen to you if you decide to have these things inculcated in the minds of your teens.

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Tips Of Getting Rid Of Body Weight

Many people have been looking for the means to lose body weight. This should come to an end for them. A person’s rate of metabolism is one of the main causes of the amount of weight they are carrying. People with low metabolism have a hard time losing weight. The amount of fat in their bodies stands as the primary challenge in their efforts to losing weight.

One major factor in improving the body’s metabolism is to drink sufficient amount of water. Medically, it is good to drink six glasses of water per day. This means that, every morning a person should start with a glass of water. This is a good way of increasing the metabolism and control the weight gain.

There is a lot of difficulties for people wanting to peel off their body weight. Food consumption has become one of the reasons why people are gaining weight. The tasty, junk and foods full of cholesterol is a temptation to many people. For anyone wanting to lose weight, they need to start health eating instantly. This is a situation where a person adopts a culture of healthy eating. People should practice eating some of the foods which help to significantly reduce weight like apes and bananas. For a person who is serious about losing or controlling body weight, there should be serious steps.

The other tip is to ensure that you have your meals four to five hours before going to bed. This is the best way of ensuring that all the fats in the food are broken down as it cannot happen when a person is asleep. The time will give the food to digest. One should avoid eating fast food and snacks before going to sleep. This is not a good habit for a person who is looking to lose weight. These foods are very fatty and are not suitable for a person who is trying to lose weight.

Exercise is another important factor for a person who is losing weight. Exercises are very important in helping to control body weight and also lose weight. Obesity is very common to people who don’t engage in activities of exercises. Exercise should be on the list of things to people who look forward to losing weight. One must drop the negative attitude of weight loss and start engaging their bodies. If one has been living an inactive life for a while, it is good to start off slowly with jogs and walks. They should be very active in making it possible to lose body weight.

Quitting tobacco use and reduction of alcohol intake are very important in reducing weight. These habits are critical in helping one lose weight. there should be no breaks in the process of losing weight. It is advisable to follow these tips to achieve the objective of body weight control.

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Self-Unwinding for Moms

If you are a parent, you will most probably be busy struggling with taking care of your children, and you may need to have a good rest occasionally. For a stay at home mom, mostly one who has an infant, they will find it very hard to go for a relaxation outing since it will need a lot of complicated operations to ensure that all is left in order. The main way such mothers can unwind is to exploit their circumstance and rest at home while they cater for their obligations. The best way to relax is to utilise a spa. It won’t be feasible for a mother to visit a spa area and relax since it will include some travelling and extra costs both of which they might not have. If a mum goes for a trip, they will leave their youngsters at home feeling desolate and get a ton of grievances when they return. Portable tubs HQ are the ultimate solution of a spa for stay at home mothers. A Portable tubs HQ gives the user the same experience of a spa without even needing to go to a real spa spot. In this article, I am going to talk about the best ways you can take advantage of your Portable tubs HQ to create a unique spa experience.

A mom who has grown up children might be lucky because they can arrange their schedule and take advantage of when their children are at school and daycare to take some relaxation time for themselves. You will have to arrange your schedule so that you can use the portable tubs HQ during the early morning hours or later in the evening after you have completed your tasks and still have some time before you go to pick up the children from school and daycare. You must create the perfect spa ambience for yourself so that you can still feel as though you are at an actual spa. All you have to do so that you can enjoy your great experience while you are taking advantage of your spa moment is to release all the tension and let yourself go such that you attain the perfect stress relief. To get the best out of your portable tubs HQ, you need to keep yourself quiet and guarantee that your calendar is completely free.

While using the Portable tubs HQ, you can blend a lot of activities to produce the ultimate spa experience. You can take advantage of aromatherapy, perform some manicure and pedicure activities and also hydrate your skin by applying the face mask. If you don’t have enough time to go to a spa and enjoy yourself, create your own by using the Portable tubs HQ at your home.

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Tips and Tricks on How to Effectively Prevent Weight Gain as You Quit Smoking

A big congratulations to you because you decide to quit smoking! And we understand that you might be worried about the possible weight gain effect associated with quitting smoking. The fact is that many people resort to eating or carving food as a replacement for cigarette smoking so it is not uncommon to gain extra pounds when quitting smoking. But there are those who don’t really experience this withdrawal effect given the right diversion and healthy practices. It is simply being careful with the food you eat and taking the enough amount of exercise. Pay attention to your dietary intake by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables to help in detoxifying your body so you can recover from the effects of smoking, and to keep you full and prevent weight gain.

The major causes of weight gain include foods with high amounts of sugar and salt so you need to cut it down to prevent weight gain. It is better to fill up your diet with healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil for weight reduction and to keep you full for a longer period for you to avoid cravings. Most of the time previous smokers try to find a replacement for cigarette and food is always a good option but it increases chance of weight gain, so consume granola, fresh-popped popcorn, nuts, fruits, vegetables, or sugar-free candy instead of junk foods. For example, instead o eating ice cream, cake, burger or french fries, divert to fruits, celery, carrot sticks, fruit or vegetable salad with healthy sauce. Eat six small meals a day instead of three large meals for an effective weight control method after quitting smoking. It is also a good idea using vape with e-juice if you need a nicotine fix after eating. Never skip your early morning breakfast because it will only make you hungry all throughout the day which will allow you to eat more. It will also help you in filling up your energy requirements so you are energized and alert all throughout the day.

As much as you watch out for the food you eat, it is also important to check what you drink because if you want to avoid gaining weight after quitting smoking, it is also important to ensure that you are properly hydrated. When you feel hungry, drink water by taking at least eight glasses a day to keep you full and prevent cravings. Instead of smoking, chew gum because it is safer and it gives distraction to your mouth. In order to alleviate any discomfort from nicotine withdrawal symptoms, you can just take a nicotine chewing gum. Exercise also plays an important role in weight loss by walking, stretching or jogging twenty minutes a day.