The Ruby Lane Advantage: Ruby Is The New Green
Antique, vintage and artisan items are by their very nature green. By reusing items, antiques and vintage articles represent the best way to reduce environmental impact, and artisanal work is generally done by individuals using local resources. We encourage the use of these items as a means to help local economies and to reduce the waste and pollution associated with industrial production. In the workplace at Rubylane, we utilize technology to conduct business in an energy efficient manner while continually striving to minimize our carbon footprint.
Ruby Is the New Green
The Ruby Lane Advantage stands for quality, as well as a commitment to business practices that cause little to no harm to the environment. We believe that:
- The buying and selling of antique and vintage items already in existence does not cause the harm to the environment that the production of new goods can cause. And we feel that the production of handcrafted items causes less harm to the environment than most items that are produced using automation.
- We view technology as an opportunity to do more with less: Less paper, reduced commuting and travel, less energy consumption, use of less space.
- As an Internet business, the safe disposal and recycling of electronic waste (servers, computers, phones) should be made easier, more accessible and affordable for all — it should be an automatic part of every product's life cycle.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
We're constantly striving to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Here's how we're doing our part:
- Our virtual company structure enables 90% of our staff to work from home. Though not a requirement, those who do not work from home take public transit to get to our offices. This means fewer cars on the road, reduced energy consumption and emissions.
- Today's technology allows for far fewer business trips without a reduction in communication and productivity.
- 90% of our communication both internally and externally is conducted via email which means greatly reduced consumption of paper, ink, office supplies and energy. Fortunately, a huge percentage of businesses today can say the same.
- Our company policy requires that all paper and office supply products we consume be recycled or made from eco-friendly materials, unless none is available.
- We operate using standardized laptop power settings that turn off our screens, power down our laptop hard disks, and suspend our laptops when not in use. To learn how to do this yourself visit: http://www.rubylane.com/blog/node/840.
- Ruby Lane will conduct several "Green Listing Days" per year. During this promotion all items newly-listed on the site will only be charged 10 cents instead of the regular 30 cent Listing Fee. Ruby Lane will contribute 100% of the fees received on each Green Listing Day to an environmental organization that is chosen by Ruby Lane with input from our community of shop owners.
- We're converting as many of our promotional products found in the Logo shop as possible to those made of recycled, or more environmentally-friendly materials.
- Our goal is that speaking up about our commitment will in turn inspire those with whom we do business — and beyond, to strive to do the same.
What You Can Do
What can you do as a business to operate in a more earth-friendly manner? The following may seem obvious, but until every individual and business puts these things and more into practice, we will continue to mention them:
- For every type of office supply you purchase for your home or business, always check first to see whether a recycled or environmentally-friendly version of the item is available.
- Think first before printing a document or email. Is it really necessary?
- Use email instead of snail mail which consumes materials and energy.
- Be sure to turn off the lights in your home, home office or business when a room or space is not being used.
- Consider using standardized laptop power settings that turn off your screens, powers down your laptop hard disks, and suspend your laptops when not in use.
- Unplug chargers when not in use.
- Our shops are essentially in the professional shipping business. We encourage our shop owners to seek out good quality recycled shipping materials whenever possible.
- Be sure to recycle your printer ink cartridges instead of discarding them.
- Replace your old light bulbs with energy-saving fluorescent bulbs.
- Discarded electronics pose a serious environmental threat. Take computers and other equipment to a recycling center that specializes in environmentally-responsible disposal, or consider donating them to an organization that will refurbish them for re-use in such venues as schools.
It's easy to feel as an individual or small business that you are too insignificant to make a difference in protecting our planet. Don't believe it — everyone must do their part.