WHAT IS GOING GREEN?
What is “going green”? Chances are you’ve probably heard this popular phrase quite a lot in the recent years. Everywhere you go people are talking about going green and how it impacts the planet. But what does it mean? Is it more than recycle, reduce, and reuse? Is going green the same as eco-friendly? Is it interchangeable with being sustainable? In essence, the green movement or “going green”, simply means to seek knowledge and embrace practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.
BENEFITS OF GOING GREEN
So why go green? The truth is that everything single thing we do every day has an impact on the planet — good or bad. The returns on investing in sustainable practices can sometimes be hard to see and may not seem to have much effect short term. However, we believe every small step taken can have a big impact in the years to come and the positive benefits of green decision making are really there. In the long term, being ever mindful of the impact choices made “today” may have on “tomorrow”, the benefits of going green can only increase. Here’s a list of just a few reasons to adopt sustainable practices and a green outlook:
- Environmental Impact Going green has several positive side effects for the environment that contribute to cleaner water and air, protecting natural ecosystems and reducing carbon footprints.
- Energy Efficiency Doing more with less; this is the key principle of energy efficiency. Benefits include but are not limited to lower energy costs, reduced greenhouse gas by-products, less energy waste and the conservation of our natural resources.
- Health and Wellness Living green not only positively impacts the planet but also positively impacts you and your family’s welfare. By reducing pollution and carbon footprints left behind and increasing our support for local farms and renewable energy sources, we can look forward to better quality air and water, a cleaner environment and access to more fresh foods free of pesticides and toxins.
DOING OUR PART
In an effort to become more environmentally conscious, we at AGS Stainless Inc. decided to start small. Actions that include recycling and reusing materials wherever possible, utilizing digital tools and resources to reduce our paper consumption and encouraging our employees to carpool are simple steps we have taken as a company to start making a positive change within our office. We are constantly looking for ways to continually reduce our environmental impact and these small steps are just the beginning. We are really excited about the practices we’ve implemented, and serves to further emphasize how we feel about the products and materials which are the heart and essence of AGS – stainless steel. Our Clearview® line of stainless steel railing systems have long been well-revered throughout the industry. Clearview® is the ‘clear’ choice for those wanting a railing system that is strong and durable but also adds beauty to their project.
WHY STAINLESS STEEL?
No material can match the safety, durability, sustainability and beauty of stainless steel. As more and more move toward a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyles, increased awareness is also placed on choosing materials that mirror those same attributes. Stainless steel has been gaining compelling recognition due to its outstanding environmental properties.
- Recycle, Reduce and Reuse Through an efficient closed loop system, stainless steel can be recycled and reused indefinitely, without the loss of quality or strength. The process for recycling stainless steel is identical to producing it new. Additionally, stainless steel is composed of many raw elements, such as iron, nickel, chromium and molybdenum, which are highly valuable, in demand and in some cases, very scarce in supply. The recovery and reuse of these materials could not be more important. The popularity and ease of recycling stainless ensures that at the end of its life cycle, nothing is wasted or left to pollute landfills. The recycling and reuse of stainless steel has become essential within the industry, offering a replenishable source of secondary raw materials fundamental to the conservation of Earth’s limited natural resources.
- Strong and durable Stainless steel is renowned for it’s strength, durability and it’s resistance to corrosion, making it an ideal choice for many applications. Due to it’s high chromium content, a naturally forming “passive” film is formed when the surface is exposed to oxygen. This very thin layer of chromium oxide acts as a protective layer that resists oxidation and heat, giving the stainless steel it’s non-corrosive, rust-resistant and non-porous qualities. With proper attention and routine cleaning, this layer can provide protection for countless years.
- Long life cycle Stainless steel is virtually indestructible, with inherent long-life properties that do not diminish over time or repeated use. It has a superior strength-to-weight ratio compared to other materials. As long as the appropriate stainless steel grade is chosen to meet the conditions of a particular application, the stainless steel design can typically last the lifetime of the project, however, when it comes time one might want to dispose of it, 100% the stainless can be recycled. In fact, it is estimated that the amount of recycled content in any stainless steel object is approximately 75-85%. As the demand for stainless steel grows, so does the availability of material to be reused. Items produced today, that won’t necessarily be recycled for a couple more decades, promise a wealth of recyclable material once the end of their useful life cycles have been reached.
- Value Stainless steel may require a higher initial investment but the value, durability and longevity of the steel is sure to increase the return on that investment, it’s easy to see the significant cost savings achieved in the long run. Considering total life cycle cost, stainless steel often comes out in the lead maintaining its place as a smart, sustainable and cost effective choice.
STAINLESS ISN’T OUR ONLY SHINING STAR
AGS Stainless, Inc. recently debuted a new line of stainless steel products – Starlight solar-powered outdoor LED accent lights. We are excited to add solar StarLights to our existing product lines. StarLights explore the innovative potential of harnessing sustainable energy, reinforcing our belief in the importance of environmentally friendly design and business practices. A growing number of people, AGS included, are discovering the benefits of switching to solar. Solar power generation has emerged as one of the most rapidly growing renewable sources of energy. By harnessing the power of the sun, solar energy is one of the most abundant and sustainable forms of energy available. It would be foolish to overlook the potential uses of this life-sustaining resource.
- Financial Benefits Solar units can drastically reduce your electricity bill in many ways. Firstly, by generating your own electricity from the solar panels, you reduce the electricity you need to buy from your power provider. Another benefit is that the solar power generation increases both the energy rating and value of your house. In some locations, often times a power company will buy any excess “green” electricity your system produces.
- Low maintenance Solar panels require minimal maintenance – designed for their working environment, there’s no need for excessive washing or dusting. It is important to place panels where they will remain clear of shade and debris and to periodically check your system to make sure it is performing as it should.
- No emissions Unlike conventional power, solar energy is a non-polluting, clean, reliable and renewable source of energy. Burning fossil fuels creates unwanted by-products that can create air and water pollution and release huge amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. When in use, solar panels produce power without waste or emissions, and do so through a natural process called photovoltaics.
- Renewable resource Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources—such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat—which are renewable, naturally replenished and will never run out.
- Versatility Solar energy cells can be used to produce the power for small items such as a watch but can also be used to produce enough power to run an entire city. With that kind of versatility, it is a great energy source.
- Ease of use With its little maintenance and versatility, it’s evident just how solar power generation is easy to use.
SMALL STEPS, BIG CHANGE
Going green is all about taking steps to become more environmentally aware and showing a commitment to reducing the impact we have. There are a surprising amount of people, businesses and communities that would like to do more to conserve and protect our natural resources, but don’t know where to begin. While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, it’s also simple to begin making a positive impact. You don’t have to jump in by changing everything, start small to make the changes more sustainable and a part of your normal life. Being green in small ways is easier than you think, here is a short list of our favorites that are attainable and can be implemented effortlessly. All it takes is a lot of little changes to make a big difference.
- Turn down or up your thermostat accordingly
- B.Y.O.B (Bring your own bag)
- Clean green
- Look for ENERGYSTAR label
- Buy Local
- Go paperless (paperless billing/read newspapers online)
- Change up your commute
- Skip bottled water